Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Belgian Journalists Speak on European Opinion about the U.S. Elections

Citing the current economic crisis, the war in Iraq and a need for multilateralism as reasons for Europeans to keep an eye on the U.S. presidential election, seven Belgian journalists weighed in on the candidates in a panel discussion at Georgia State on Monday.

“If you would have an election in Europe with the two candidates, you would see Barack Obama win 80 to 20 percent,” said Jorn De Cock, foreign affairs writer for De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad/De Gentenaar. “But there is a real feeling in Europe that we should not express an opinion so it will not backfire over here.”

Guy Van Vlierden, foreign desk coordinator at Het Laatste Nieuws, said that although Europeans see Obama as a more favorable candidate, it’s still anybody’s game.

“It’s a constant surprise,” he said. “It’s crystal clear for us Belgians and Europeans: Barack Obama is the most interesting. I think John McCain will win at the end, I don’t know. It’s still a constant surprise.”

Jurek Kuczkiewicz of daily newspaper Le Soir said that in talking to Americans, it’s evident that U.S. foreign policy and global image are becoming an issue for voters, and many on the panel expressed apprehension about vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s foreign policy experience.

“The first issue anybody mentioned was and still is the United States’ image abroad,” Kuczkiewicz said. “I was very surprised. I think that as foreign media, we contribute to the American people learning about what effects their action abroad has.”

Panelists also said that after eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency, Europeans are ready for change, whatever the outcome of the election may be.

“There’s the economic problems, but besides that, the Iraq situation, the arrogance of people like Dick Cheney,” De Cock said. “The United States is our main ally, and we need each other. We haven’t really been behaving like allies in the past few years.”

Georgia Front Page
Fayette Front Page

News to Use in Fayetteville, Atlanta, Savannah, Peachtree City and all of Georgia

No comments: