Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany
IN EACH of the four previous Euro polls, Ian Paisley finished first, with John Hume in second place and the Ulster Unionists coming third. The same pattern was repeated, although the gap between the two leading figures has shrunk. Mr Paisley can take comfort from his narrow success but his attempts to portray the result as a vindication of his opposition to the Good Friday agreement were unconvincing. Mr Hume insisted on promoting European issues throughout his campaign, and, unlike Mr Paisley, resolutely refused to be drawn into any form of sectarian headcount. He was rewarded with the largest vote ever received by his party, and deserves enormous credit for one of the crowning achievements of his career.
The Irish News
OVER HIS past two years in power, President Jacques Chirac has achieved a somewhat dismal hat trick: first there was the failed dissolution in 1997, which was followed by some uncertain allegiances taken up during last year's regional elections; these in turn accompanied a fresh decline for the right. And this time the destructive pressure for one sole list for the opposition has ended in explosion during the European elections and its subsequent shipwreck.