Western media welcome Mubarak's downfall



PARIS- Western media on Saturday welcomed the fall of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, hailing it as a 'Berlin Wall moment' while expressing fears for the uncertain future of the country and the region.
"Egypt's march toward political freedom is only beginning and we can expect more drama and disagreement as it unfolds," The Wall Street Journal said in an editorial.



Western media welcome Mubarak's downfall
The Los Angeles Times hailed the protests which led to Mubarak's ouster, saying: "Not since the fall of the Berlin Wall has there been such a dramatic testimony to the desire for personal freedom."
The Washington Post called for the United States and other Western countries to press Egypt's military administration to move towards democracy.
Britain's newspapers declared Mubarak's fall a defining moment in history.
Thirty years of dictatorship had gone in 30 seconds, wrote The Guardian.
"This is a moment of historic significance. It re-establishes Egypt as the leader of the Arab world and Egyptians at its moral core," it said.
"History Unfolds" The Times headline proclaimed. "It has been this generation's Berlin Wall moment."
But it warned: "What lies ahead is now far from clear ... Egypt has been both a warning and an inspiration."
The Sun, Britain's top-selling daily said: "The magnificent sight of People Power finally overwhelming a corrupt dictator cheers every heart" but cautioned that Egypt needed "honest, democratic, pro-Western leadership, not Islamic fundamentalism."
The Financial Times business daily hailed the "Nile Revolution", but it too focussed on the political uncertainty facing the region.
"Instability is the new certainty. But opportunity is boundless and if the West wishes to recover its standing in the Arab world it must stay firmly on the side of freedom."
The Daily Telegraph warned that "what is being hailed as a triumph of people power is, in essence, a military takeover," adding that Mubarak's exit "may mark the beginning of the country’s crisis, not its end."
In France, the left-wing daily Liberation rejoiced that "In less than 100 days, in Tunis and Cairo, two regimes that were thought to be unassailable have fallen through the trap door of history."
The right-wing Le Figaro predicted that "many other authoritarian regimes will have to adapt to the new order, or prepare to hand over power."
In Denmark, the daily Politiken said in an editorial that what happened in Egypt was a reflection of problems throughout the the Arab world.
"Egypt is not just one state among 22 Arab states -- Egypt is the state where you take the temperature of the Arab world and ... the Egyptian crisis revealed the Arab world is ill," it wrote.
"Today, no Arab leader feels immune."
In the Netherlands, the leftist daily Volkskrant said the fallout would be long lasting and pervasive.
The protesters in Egypt have registered a major victory "but the rest of the script is now in the hands of the military ... This is truly a historic event, one that will long reverberate in the Middle East and elsewhere."
For South Africa's Saturday Star, February 11 was "a truly auspicious day," showing people power at its best.
"It was the 21st anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela after 27 years in captivity and it marked the voluntary resignation of a man who has ruled Egypt for 30 years with an iron fist. Both instances were shining examples of people power."
The news broke too late for many newspapers in Asia but in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post managed to get the news into its Saturday edition under the headline "Downfall of a modern-day pharaoh."
Chinese media reported Mubarak's decision to go but placed an emphasis on the importance of restoring order.
"Social stability should be of overriding importance. Any political changes will be meaningless if the country falls prey to chaos in the end," the official English-language China Daily said.
In Taiwan, both the China Times and United Daily News ran the headline "Egyptian people's victory," but some online readers were more bleak.
"I don't think this is the beginning of happiness in Egypt, this could be the start of a civil war," wrote one reader on a United Daily News forum.
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Sunday, February 13th 2011
AFP
           


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