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Home / Press review / Archive / Press review | 18/08/2015

 

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Votes on loans for Athens

According to media reports Greece needs six billion euros more than the 86 billion foreseen for the third bailout package. (© picture-alliance/dpa)

 

After the Greek parliament and the finance ministers of the Eurozone approved a third bailout package for Athens last week, the parliaments of other Eurozone states are due to vote on it this week. Some commentators see the reforms it entails as a historic opportunity for the country's renewal. Others criticise the fact that almost all the money will go to banks and creditors.

Südostschweiz - Switzerland

Bailout package offers historic opportunity

In accepting the new EU bailout package the Greek parliament has paved the way for historical development in the country, writes the liberal daily Südostschweiz: "Never since the start of the crisis have the reform specifications been so detailed. The creditors have learned from the mistakes of the previous aid concepts and eased the austerity measures to a tolerable level. The focus is on structural reforms aimed at making the country competitive. This provides a great opportunity for Tsipras. He has a historic mission - if he wants it. He can radically change and renew his country. If the young prime minister puts the specified reforms into practice Greece could become one of Europe's most modern countries. Many structural reforms will however take years, if not decades, before they come into their own. So it's a project of generations. And the responsibility Tsipras bears is all the greater because of that." (18/08/2015)

Dimokratia - Greece

Financial aid goes to banks and creditors

Ten billion euros of the 26 billion euro first instalment of the third bailout package are destined for hard-hit Greek banks, and 13 billion for repaying ECB and IMF debts. This is pure mockery of Greece's citizens, the conservative daily Dimokratia observes: "As far as 13 of the 26 billion euros are concerned, it will be as if we had never received them. They won't even go through Greek tills. … So this is what European solidarity and European logic look like. They force austerity programmes on us, which we endure with suffering just so they can get their money back, and the banks too, which supposedly recently passed a test, and which we already paid anyway with the first and second austerity programmes! If that's not pure mockery, then what is?" (17/08/2015)

Blog euinside - Bulgaria

Athens will squander all the funds again

The finance ministers of the Eurozone approved a third bailout package for Greece on the weekend. In her blog euinside Adelina Marini says she doesn't believe Athens will deal any more responsibly with the new loan of 86 billion euros than it did with the previous ones: "Nothing good came of the two previous, incomplete bailout programmes and the political situation in Greece and in the Eurozone isn't exactly stable now. So there is little cause for optimism. … Who can guarantee that after the first instalment and a potential debt write-down the Greek government won't fall back into its old left-wing habits and start spending more than it takes in again? The government knows that in the name of saving the Eurozone and preserving good relations with the IMF, and supported by the hysterical hue and cry of left-wing US economists, it can get away with anything." (17/08/2015)

Corriere della Sera - Italy

No Europe without consensus

Europe can't work if it is always trying to serve the interests of individual countries, the liberal conservative daily Corriere della Sera warns in view of the new loans for Athens: "Do we still want a Europe? That is the question the citizens are asking themselves, and which the politicians of the member states should also be asking. It is to be feared that the latter will answer with a bureaucratic 'yes'. And that this will be prompted by the ulterior motive of a Europe that is not a synthesis of its components but adapted to the demands of each country. Europe urgently needs to change this course. … Juncker's investment package was passed in December 2014. … The plan was a sign that the EU is not just about conflict over rules and budget regulations, but it has disappeared without a trace. Reforms and flexibility are the prerequisites for growth that Europe needs. And investments and consensus are the engine that drives growth." (18/08/2015)

POLITICS

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L'Humanité - France

Corbyn will lead Labour from its impasse

The more than 600,000 members of the British Labour Party will vote on a new leader by the start of September. The MP Jeremy Corbyn, who rejects rigorous austerity and sympathises with the Spanish party Podemos, stands a good chance of succeeding Ed Miliband. His popularity confirms that many Labour supporters are looking for an alternative to liberalism, the communist daily L'Humanité writes: "The spectacular success of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership race shows England's other face - that of the impoverished lower classes and a youth condemned to insecurity. ... The apparatus that controls Labour has been seized by panic in view of the fresh wind that is sweeping away its liberal conformism. The day of reckoning has now come, and the disciples of finance are looking old. The long path taken by Margaret Thatcher that the young social-democratic carnivores have followed has turned out to be a dead end." (18/08/2015)

The Independent - United Kingdom

Shift to left would cost Labour even more voters

As of last Friday members of the Labour Party have three weeks to elect a new leader. Polls put far left contender Jeremy Corbyn in the lead among the four candidates. But Corbyn would be the wrong choice, warns the centre-left daily The Independent: "Nevertheless, some of his policies are clearly popular with much of the electorate and others would create worthwhile fresh debate about issues that the political establishment has largely treated as beyond debate for a generation. Yet this remains an anti-utopian country whose citizens have a preference for fairness in society, and government that is strong and effective without meddling too much in our private lives. It is also, on the basis of this leadership campaign - by turns exhilarating and awful - a country that will be run by Tories for a long time yet." (17/08/2015)

Deutschlandfunk - Germany

Balkan refugees must be able to immigrate legally

In view of the high numbers of refugees from the western Balkan states German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Sunday for states to be classified as "countries of safe origin" at the EU level. Public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk criticises Europe's politicians for disqualifying people from the region as unwanted asylum seekers for far too long: "The asylum process is the only legal loophole for these people up to now. And that is absurd. It takes a long time, costs money and leaves everyone involved frustrated - a situation in which there are only losers. Because the asylum laws are not conceived for these people. So why has the chancellor clung to this situation for so long instead of making an immigration law that allows these people to come here legally? … When will the politicians stop kidding themselves that Germany isn't a country of immigration? What is it then? … The EU leaders made a promise to the people of the western Balkan states at the EU summit in Thessaloniki in 2003: you will get into the EU. And then they forgot them." (17/08/2015)

Jyllands-Posten - Denmark

Refugee issue threatens Sweden's cohesion

Sweden, the European country that has taken in the most refugees after Germany, threatens to fall apart under the pressure, the centre-right daily Jyllands-Posten fears: "Apparently as many immigrants as possible are to be taken in, even though opposition to this policy is growing. ... Decades of social democratic government and cultural liberalism have built up a moral empire that's in danger of collapsing. New voices are questioning the status quo, even among the established press. What's new is that the centre is losing its force and the country has become divided. Security in Sweden depends to a large extent on finding a political solution to problems that arise. Failing that they are solved anti-politically, that is in violence and blood. If the powers that be can no longer assert their legitimacy, society runs the risk of ending in violence. That happened in Syria, but it could also happen in Sweden." (18/08/2015)

Hürriyet Daily News - Turkey

AKP provokes new elections

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced on Monday that all attempts at forming a coalition had failed, but that he will not give the mandate to form a government back to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The move increases the likelihood of new elections in the autumn. The liberal daily criticises the prime minister's tactic: "In view of the fact that the time limit [for forming a coalition] ends on Sunday, this means that Erdoğan has allowed Davutoğlu to use the entire 45 days just to say that no coalition is possible. It would be a joke now to give [opposition leader] Kılıçdaroğlu the mandate for the last one or two days. ... Before the 7th of June opposition parties expressed concerns about the manipulation of votes and voting boxes in several areas. These objections have for the most part proven unfounded. But no one was expecting that the entire election would be commandeered or that the result would simply be ignored." (18/08/2015)

El Mundo - Spain

China hushes up scandals

The number of those killed in the Tianjin explosions in China rose to 114 on Monday. It remains unclear what chemicals were stored at the port. China must change its information policy if it wants to maintain its success on the global market, the conservative daily El Mundo observes: "The typical cover-up tactics of the Chinese dictatorship won't solve any of the problems. In 2003, the initial hush-up over the Sars epidemic contributed to its spread. In 2008, after the Sichuan earthquake, the regime even arrested parents of victims who dared to criticise deficiencies in the buildings that collapsed. And now it is focussing on closing down websites to silence fears about gas leaks. But Beijing will lose the battle if it wants to continue competing in the globalised world of the 21st century using the medieval methods of censorship and cover-ups." (18/08/2015)

REFLECTIONS

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El Moudjahid - Algeria

Nadia Kerraz predicts the downfall of the IS

With its crimes the terrorist group "Islamic State" is violating the very principles of Islam it claims to be fighting for and for that reason it won't endure, writes Nadia Kerraz, a journalist with the pro-government daily El Moudjahid: "The things the IS does on a daily basis and the atrocities its members commit stand in total contradiction to the teachings of Islam... 'Whoever kills a person ... it is as though he has killed all mankind. (5:32). Persecution and causing chaos are heinous sins. (2:217)'. Must one also point out that the Koran speaks of 'peace, justice and human rights'? … Therefore the collapse of an organisation that spreads chaos and commits crimes in the name of Islam is only a matter of time. No Muslim worthy of the name can accept people being killed and women being raped in the name of this religion that has been practised for more than 1,000 years. But the fight against the IS requires political determination. It is no mere coincidence that the group has taken root in crisis-ridden countries. The example of Libya speaks volumes. Political instability is a breeding ground for terrorism." (18/08/2015)

Aftonbladet - Sweden

Karin Pettersson marvels at Paul Mason's PostCapitalism

In his new book PostCapitalism, a Guide to Our Future, the British economic journalist Paul Mason turns his attention to the era after capitalism. A remarkable work, journalist Karin Pettersson marvels in the tabloid Aftonbladet: "Mason writes that the old bulwark of the left-wing political struggle, the socially organised working class, is severely weakened today. Instead he puts his hopes in the emerging digital class. ... Information should be free, without loyalty to hierarchies or states. In the modern networks far from the logic of the market economy, free services like Wikipedia and Linux are being developed. And a modern form of barter economy is emerging. ... Mason's utopia is far-reaching: an economic system in which wage labour and control by market forces are abolished. You don't have to agree with him but his ideas are stimulating: a largely reformed financial sector, the introduction of a basic income to accelerate structural change, and a combination of state intervention and network solutions to counter the climate crisis." (18/08/2015)

ECONOMY

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Rzeczpospolita - Poland

Polish industry needs its own power supply

Polish businesses have invested a total of two billion euros in power stations in recent years in a bid to secure their own power supply. The right strategy, also in view of last week's power shortages, the conservative daily Rzeczpospolita writes in approval: "In fact something like this is absurd, but not here in Poland. ... Investments like the ones currently being made by [chemicals supplier] Grupa Azoty, [oil company] PKN Orlen and [coal producer] JSW among others were carried out years ago by steel works, paper and furniture manufacturers. Because a production stop resulting from a power failure costs a lot of money. One hour of downtime in a mine that uses 500 gigawatts per year means a loss of 50,000 złoty [12,000 euros]. ... For that reason it's best to secure production with your own power station. And any surplus energy can then be sold for a profit." (18/08/2015)

Wiener Zeitung - Austria

German export surplus endangers Europe

In the first half of 2015 the European countries generated an export surplus of 115 billion euros - more than three-quarters of that in Germany, according to figures put out by Eurostat. This will have disastrous repercussions for Europe, the state-run daily Wiener Zeitung fears: "Germany is like a sponge sucking up capital that has to be 'generated' above all in Southern Europe through austerity programmes that drive many into poverty. A vicious circle that Germany too will eventually fall prey to. ... The Eurostat figures look good, but in fact they're worrying: a Germany that pushes its partners harder and harder against the wall while demanding that they do something to improve the situation. At the same time the unequal distribution of the flow of trade is worsening not only between North and South, but also between East and West. Exports to Russia fell by 32 percent because of the sanctions. The countries of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia feel the brunt of that far more than Germany." (18/08/2015)

SOCIETY

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Etelä-Saimaa - Finland

Anger has no place in road traffic

A cyclist in Helsinki was apparently deliberately run over and killed after getting into a fight with a driver. This tragic incident must prompt action, the liberal daily Etelä-Saimaa demands: "Anger is hardly something that automatically engages when you get behind the wheel. Every effort must be put into trying to get along with all those who share the road, and controlling situations that threaten to get out of hand. Our education and upbringing must stress that anger has no place either in traffic or elsewhere. After this tragic traffic accident serious thought must be put into how anger-induced risks can be avoided through traffic policy decisions." (18/08/2015)

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