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View From Europe: Kyoto, Sorry Moves, Julia And Therese Most Noted Factors

  • November 27th, 2007
  • Posted by 7thmin

rudd-and-therese-bbc.jpgEuropean responses to Australia’s elections so far have fixed on the pledge to ratify the Kyoto accord, the prospective apology to aboriginal people, the first female Deputy Prime Minister, and family attachments of the new PM.


The affirmation on Monday by Julia Gillard, Deputy Prime Minister elect, that the “sorry” statement was policy, and would come at a time yet to be fixed, has headed the current list of observations in European news media.

While other interests dominated the agenda, currently the renewed peace moves in the Middle East, Ms Gillard herself did receive special mention in commentaries as the first female political leader to reach the top floor in Australia’s national government.

She affirmed on radio that the apology for mistreatment of indigenous Australians, including the former “stolen children” policy of family separation, was due to be made by the new Labor government; the former conservative Prime Minister, John Howard, always declined to declare an apology saying present generations were not responsible for past misdeeds.


A commentary in the Paris newspaper Le Monde (27.11.07) identified the Prime Minister elect, Kevin Rudd, as the “Blairist of the Southern Hemisphere.”

Focusing on Mr Rudd’s personal and political formation, it said that like “New Labour’s” Tony Blair in England, he had suffered the loss of a parent as a child, was a practising Christian, had committed his political party to a centrist stance on economic policy, and had enjoyed a very close personal and public alliance in his marriage.

Mr Rudd’s wife, a highly successul business woman, Therese Rein, had “played an important role in the meteoric rise of her husband through the Labor Party”, it said.

Other commentary concentrated on the election night declaration that Australia would soon ratify the Kyoto accord on global warming.


BBC; Rudd to apologise to aborigines, 26.11.07;

Paul Reynolds; “Australian change: New PM to steer away from US on climate change and Iraq”, BBC, 26.11.07.

Deutsche Welle; “Rudd to become Australia’s next PM”, 5.11.07., (26.11.07).

Sophie Kauffmann; “L’Australie se donne un nouveau premier minister, Kevin Rudd, ‘Blairiste’ de l’hemisphere sud'”, Le Monde, 27.11.07., (27.11.07). (Australia chooses a new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, the ‘Blairist’ of the Southern hemisphere).

Picture: Power and love; home life seen as a strong point for Kevin Rudd; BBC