The main front page article of the International Herald Tribune on Tuesday (top right) has the European Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, criticizing Barack Obama in an interview with The New York Times' Steven Erlanger and Stephen Castle — criticizing him all so diplomatically, of course, but criticizing him (and his policies, fiscal as well as foreign) nonetheless.
Mr. Barroso, speaking animatedly for 90 minutes, was rebutting a criticism by President Obama and some economists that Europe’s rush to cut government spending to appease market sentiment risked worsening the region’s economic slump. Mr. Obama wrote in a letter last week to his Group of 20 counterparts that withdrawing fiscal stimulus too soon could lead to “renewed economic hardships and recession.”
Mr. Barroso also rejected an American contention, made recently by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, that Europe was driving Turkey into the arms of its less secular Islamic neighbors.
…Concerned by Mr. Obama’s postponement of a European Union-United States summit meeting in May, Mr. Barroso confirmed that he had set up a small study group to examine ways to make the relationship more substantive and coordinated, especially on issues of job growth and regulation. He said that he wanted to produce “deliverables” and that the two sides could do more in relations with third parties, like Russia and China.
Yet the European Union has more regular summit meetings with Russia, he pointed out — two a year.