ROME, Jan 24, 2001 ( – While pro-lifers the world over rejoiced and abortion advocates cringed at Monday’s decision by US President George Bush to reinstate the Mexico City policy, international political figures also weighed in on both sides. AP reports that the Vatican, gave prominent attention Tuesday to Bush’s move to bar U.S. funds to groups which lobby for abortion internationally, making it the top story in the Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano and carrying it on Vatican Radio.

The reaction from a European Union official was severe. EU Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou called the move a “step backwards.” Diamantopoulou, a radical feminist took the US move as a personal injury. “Here is the question – why it is so easy to undo what we have earned during the last years?” she said. “How it can be done in one moment, in one day?” Presuming to speak for the whole EU Diamantopoulou said, “We must express our disappointment at the European level.”

Sweedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson distanced himself from the antagonistic comments as Sweden currently holds the rotating EU presidency. In a press conference he said it was “primarily a domestic political issue” in the United States and would not affect relations with Europe.

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