Thursday, March 22, 2007

After Airbus, Galileo

One did not exactly have to be a rocket scientist to predict, as I did last night, that the (British) MSM would ignore the latest developments in the Galileo saga. One should also note, I suppose, that The Independent did not include the EU's satellite navigation system in its list of 50 "benefits" of the EU.

But, if the British media are in ostrich mode, not so today's edition of Le Monde which has run both a news piece and a leader.

A taste of the where the newspaper is coming from can be discerned from the news headline, which proclaims: "Europeans try to avoid the Galileo 'shipwreck'", with the leader not offering much comfort either, noting, "After Airbus, Galileo."

The symbolic nature of the Galileo programme is not missed. It was to embody the ambitions of l'Europe puissance (the Europe of power) but now, the paper says, it is going through an unprecedented crisis. It was to become one of the industrial emblems of Europe but, if nothing is done, it is likely to become an additional illustration of the European breakdown – just at the time when the Union is on the point of celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.

Despite the predictability of the British media, seeing how much is riding on the Galileo project, it is still perplexing that the issue is so comprehensively ignored. There seems to be more here than the general amateurism and parochialism of your average British journalist, although the precise reason for the hang-up is difficult to work out. Perhaps it is that rooted objection the media has to keeping the public informed.


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