Germans slam Sarkozy over Libya nuclear deal

27th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

BERLIN, July 27, 2007 (AFP) - Criticism of France's plans to build a nuclear reactor in Libya mounted in Germany on Friday, with the Greens accusing President Nicolas Sarkozy of behaving recklessly.

BERLIN, July 27, 2007 (AFP) - Criticism of France's plans to build a nuclear reactor in Libya mounted in Germany on Friday, with the Greens accusing President Nicolas Sarkozy of behaving recklessly.

"This is reckless, nationalistic activism on the part of President Sarkozy," the co-president of the environmentalist party, Richard Buetikofer told the daily Passauer Neuen Presse.

"I am not surprised that he is suddenly calling (Libyan leader Moammer) Kadhafi a great democrat," he said, adding that France was making it easier for Libya to "reach for nuclear arms."

"Kadhafi may have vowed to give up the quest for nuclear fire power but can one really believe a dictator?"

Sarkozy signed a memorandum on building a nuclear reactor for water desalination in Libya after talks with Kadhafi on Thursday, a day after Tripoli freed six foreign medics from jail after an eight-year ordeal.

The step has drawn widespread criticism, not least in Germany with its strong anti-nuclear lobby and official plans to phase out nuclear power by around 2020.

German Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Gernot Erler said "politically this is a problematic affair."

"Above all the risk of proliferation increases with every country using nuclear energy," he told Friday's edition of the Handelsblatt daily.

Gert Weisskirchen, a spokesman for Germany's Social Democrats, who are part of the country's ruling coalition, said it is wise to treat Libya with pragmatism, but asked: "Does one have to start with a nuclear plant?"

Social Democrat MP Ulrich Kelber accused Sarkozy of cynically helping to secure the release of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor from jail so that he could sign lucrative deals with Kadhafi.

"It is all about show and the primitive pursuit of his own interests. This is something one sees with despots, it makes even US President George W. Bush look like an altar boy," he said.


AFP

Subject: French news, German news

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