US & Canada

US shutdown worries world media

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Image caption The US government partially shut down after the two houses of Congress failed to agree a new budget

World newspapers feel a partial shutdown of the US government will have a serious impact on the global economy.

Some dailies in Europe regard the political stalemate as a sign of a broader crisis of American democracy.

In the US, a leading daily says Congress has failed to fulfil its basic responsibility of ensuring bills are paid for essential services.


Hubert Wetzel in Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung

"What we have seen in America for the last few years already is the self-destruction of one of the world's oldest democracies. And the great tragedy is that this work of destruction is not being perpetrated by the enemies of democracy, not by greedy lobbyists or sinister big donors. America's democracy is being destroyed by those who ought to support and preserve it - by voters, parties and politicians... Nobody knows whether the country will still be solvent in three weeks' time. The bitter truth is this: politically, America is bankrupt already."

Editorial in France's Le Monde

"It would be wrong to believe that there is a real disagreement between Republicans and Democrats over Obamacare. It is the pretext chosen by the extremist, fundamentalist core of the Republican Party, the Tea Party, to sabotage Mr Obama's presidency. It reflects a growing polarisation in American public life... [Tea Party MPs] will be re-elected and today's American democracy will continue to make the founding fathers of this great republic feel ashamed."

Editorial in Russia's Nezavisimaya Gazeta 

"The world should keep in mind that the aggravation of political rivalry of two leading political forces in the USA has significantly tied the hands of the US administration. Under these circumstances, Barack Obama's administration cannot afford actions that might prompt criticism of its opponents inside the Congress. It will badly affect the freedom of action of the White House, including its foreign policy."

Editorial in the UK's The Independent

"If the bonds issued by the world's biggest debtor government are suddenly in question, the effects will be felt everywhere in rising interest rates and a return of the uncertainty that caused such havoc during the credit crunch. Given such alarming global consequences, it can only be hoped that America's politicians would not take such a risk. But after this week's shenanigans, we cannot be sure."


Editorial in the Hong Kong Economic Times

"The US' party struggles are repeating a cycle again and again and becoming more intense, which keeps eroding market confidence in the US' debt. Although an impasse should be overcome this time, a big disaster could be played out sooner or later... US politicians keep adding gunpowder to the US debt bomb, and once it explodes, it will not only severely harm the US, but will become a major threat to the global economy." 

Commentator Shi Zehua in The Beijing News

"In the US, the federal government 'shutdown' action put into effect by the president is more like a political show. It is a 'silk purse' [trick] thrown out by the executive authorities to manipulate public opinion and fish for political capital, rather than really putting a stop to the political clock..." 

Editorial in India's Hindustan Times 

"This is not what anyone would have prescribed for a world economy that is still struggling to find its feet: the shutdown of the government of the world's largest economy."

Editorial in India's The Asian Age

"If the Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling, and this could cause, what some people are calling a global disaster, more serious than the Lehman Brothers crisis in 2008."

Editorial in India's The Tribune

"That the shutdown will have a negative impact on the US economy is obvious, even as the extent of the impact will depend on various factors like how long it will last and how the rest of the world reacts to it. The initial reaction of the international markets has been muted, but that may not last."


Image caption National parks and museums are among services closed

Editorial in The New York Times

"The longer Republicans refuse to approve a rational spending measure, the more federal agencies will be affected and the greater the damage done to an economy still in recovery… The Republicans' reckless obsession with destroying health reform and with wounding the president has been on full display."

Editorial in The Washington Post

"Americans' respect for their Congress has, sad to say, diminished in recent years. But citizens still expect a minimal level of competence and responsibility: Pay the bills and try not to embarrass us in front of the world. By those minimal standards, this Congress is failing." 

Commentary in Canada's Globe and Mail

"Economists are rushing to translate Washington's political impasse into projected economic losses, slower growth and other risks. The overwhelming sentiment is that the costs stemming from the government's withdrawal from all non-essential activities will be far from trivial, particularly if the self-inflicted crisis runs more than a few days."

Editorial in Mexico'sLa Jornada

"Obama, weakened more by his own inconsistencies than by the actions of his Republican rivals, has been cornered and is suffering from a serious erosion of his political support."

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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