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G20 reaction Swiss papers: Riot images overshadow talks

The G20 world leaders, not necessarily the image people will remember most


The G20 summit in Hamburg resulted in a mixed bag for the host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and an agenda overshadowed by the images of violent protesters, Swiss news media reported.

A report in the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, or NZZexternal link, described an outcome in which Merkel could only “partially delight”. She set climate change and trade as top priorities, but the images of the summit leaders meeting may not be what people remember.

“The images of the heavy riots for two days and nights overshadowed the meeting of important leaders of developing, newly industrialized and industrialized countries,” it said.

“Naivete and false solidarity,” Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeigerexternal link headlined in a story about the mood of a summit overshadowed by startling images of rioters, whose large numbers and violence appeared to take authorities by surprise.

“This mixture of naivete, boundless violence and misunderstood solidarity has created pictures on the Alster River that will dominate the collective memory,” it read.

Swiss newspaper Le Tempsexternal link focused on US President Donald Trump’s climate policies. “Paris agreement: the United States against the rest of the world,” it headlined.

The G20’s final communiquéexternal link emphasised the Paris climate agreement is “irreversible” for 19 of the economic powers despite Trump’s decision to withdraw US pledges to address heat-trapping gases.

An article in the Luzerner Zeitung called it “the summit of anger”.

“The G20 agreement is not a milestone,” said the articleexternal link, noting that the images of the fiery riots would be what people remember. “Media spoke of state failure and anarchy.” with agencies/jmh

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