Przegląd prasy | 21/10/2014



Paris and Berlin consider investment package


The economic and finance ministers of Germany and France on Monday announced that they will soon present proposals for warding off a new recession. Paris had previously held out the prospect of France cutting its spending by 50 billion euros if Germany matched that amount in investments. Berlin must defend its budgetary discipline, some commentators warn. Others thank Paris for launching an important debate.

Die Presse - Austria

France's government losing touch with reality

France's call for German investment in exchange for French cuts is outrageous, the liberal-conservative daily Die Presse criticises: "Macron clearly believes that the Germans are responsible for France's misery - because of their strict austerity. In fact, however, such austerity has never been part of any budget passed in Berlin. Nothing but a refusal to sink further into debt, which created new trust in the midst of the worst debt crisis. This refusal was also what made possible the German economic boom that has long functioned as a motor for the Eurozone. Holding to this course is the best - and the only - thing the Germans can do for the French. Not even the left wing of the German SPD could have come up with the strange idea of having Germany pump 50 billion euros into the economy. This is completely detached from reality." (21/10/2014)

taz - Niemcy

Provocation from Paris prompts key debate

Paris's proposal makes good sense because both France and Germany have growth problems, the left-leaning daily taz comments: "Strictly speaking the whole Eurozone is suffering from the impact of the austerity policy imposed by Chancellor Merkel during the euro crisis. Only Germany can still afford to take a different course and invest in growth and jobs. And Germany also just happens to be the country where investments are urgently needed. So from that perspective Paris's initiative makes sense. Naturally one can't expect the spending cuts in France to be set off one by one against investments in Germany. But that's not what [Finance Minister] Sapin and [Economics Minister] Macron meant anyway. Their point is that the Eurozone urgently needs to boost demand. ... The Eurozone needs a new economic policy geared towards growth, not a fiscal policy fixated on cuts. Paris has launched the debate with a provocation - merci!" (21/10/2014)

Libération - Francja

Germany's change of heart very good news

The proposals by Germany and France for preventing an economic slump in Europe are the best news to come out of Europe for some time, the left-liberal daily Libération writes in delight: "Angela Merkel clearly has an undeniable political flair. Faced with apparent danger, she has decided to take action. Of course this is no time to sing the Ode to Joy or build castles in the sky. Nevertheless Berlin's new awareness is the first good news we've heard in the European Union in a long time. With all the required diplomacy, France must now make the best of this positive change of heart. After all, the idea wasn't to appeal to Germany for money, but to convince it to spend more for itself." (21/10/2014)

Diário de Notícias - Portugalia

Remind Berlin of its own sins

Germany should remember that it itself was once one of Europe's "deficit sinners" yet didn't face any sanctions, the liberal-conservative daily Diário de Notícias writes: "If German and France join forces to make decisions on Europe, it can only mean one thing: the economic crisis has hit them both. ... For years we have been hearing talk about the stimuli Germany should be providing but the results are plain to see: youth unemployment is rising, the economies are registering minimal growth or none at all. ... It's finally time to do something like for example Matteo Renzi has done: Remind Ms Merkel of the past [that Germany violated the EU Stability Pact in 2002 and 2003]. The rules must be the same for everyone, otherwise the European project is doomed to fail." (21/10/2014)


La Repubblica - Włochy

Erdoğan only supports Kurds he finds acceptable

In the fight against the terrorist Islamic State, Turkey is now giving Kurdish Pershmerga fighters from northern Iraq access to the enclosed city of Kobane in northern Syria. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is preserving his own interests with this decision, the left-liberal daily La Repubblica surmises: "Erdoğan is a smart tactician. He is bringing the Iraqi Kurds into play. He has good relations with them because they don't threaten Turkey's territorial integrity and they sell him oil directly without it having to go through Baghdad first. Thanks to these virtues the Pershmerga are being allowed to access Kobane while the Kurds in Turkey are not allowed to help their Syrian brothers. ... But Erdoğan is also suspicious of the Syrian Kurds. They are close to their Turkish brothers and above all they enjoy considerable independence in Syria. A victory for them in the battle for Kobane would lay the foundation for an independent Kurdistan. ... A major source of annoyance for Ankara." (21/10/2014)

Aftonbladet - Szwecja

Swedes fear the Russians once more

For days the Swedish military has been searching for a Russian submarine presumed to be navigating off the coast of Stockholm. The generation of those born since the 1980s is experiencing fears it had never known before, journalist Ronnie Sandahl comments in the left-liberal daily Aftonbladet: "Military service was not our problem - those born after 1991 didn't even have to go in for a physical. ... Have we ever so much as thought about defending our country's borders? In the past 25 years the Cold War has become almost a joke. Weren't submarines [off Sweden's coastline] really just muskrats? Weren't fears of the Russians really just a hobby of the paranoid? ... Now we're waking up to the reality, and some people are already calling for the reintroduction of compulsory military service. Another alternative would be to take up the suggestion made by the Danish populist Mogens Glistrup in the 1980s and replace our country's military personnel and equipment with an answering machine that says 'We surrender!'. In Russian, if possible." (21/10/2014)

Delo - Słowenia

Violeta Bulc rescues Slovenia's honour

Slovenia's candidate for EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, faced the European Parliament's questions in Monday. The left-liberal daily Delo is confident that her competent answers will have convinced the transport committee and made up for the debacle with the country's initial candidate Alenka Bratušek: "Under the circumstances Violeta Bulc delivered a solid performance before the MEPs. She answered the many questions on transport policy, including the very technical ones, almost as if they were nothing new for her - as if she hadn't only had a few days to familiarise herself with the subject. She has demonstrated adequate competence to virtually guarantee that she will be confirmed by the European Parliament's transport committee today. ... The Slovenian tragicomedy will end with Violeta Bulc's appointment as commissioner." (21/10/2014)

De Telegraaf - Holandia

Dutch running out of steam on MH17 crash

The German intelligence service apparently provided members of Germany's Bundestag with proof that flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July, according to a report by the German news portal Spiegel Online. By contrast the Dutch media are silent on the issue, the conservative daily De Telegraaf criticises: "The coalition partners yesterday rejected a call by the opposition for a hearing, on the grounds that it could harm the prosecution's investigations. What nonsense! The evidence presented to the Germans must also be shown to our parliamentarians. In addition, on the basis of satellite photos Germany itself has initiated criminal investigations into war crimes committed by Vladimir Putin's dirty army in eastern Ukraine. The Netherlands is increasingly losing its leading role in the international investigations." (21/10/2014)

Večernji List - Chorwacja

Zagreb facing paralysis without its management

The controversial mayor of Zagreb, Milan Bandić, and 16 other top city administration officials were arrested on charges of corruption on Sunday. But without its experienced management the capital of Croatia faces collapse, the daily Večernji List fears: "It's already crystal clear that only the routine business will be carried out in Zagreb for the time being. Everything else will be left undone, in particular all the major investment projects that Bandić had announced. During his 14-year rule Bandić has built up a strictly hierarchical management system that concentrates all power of decision in himself and his close confidantes. ... The city now faces a period of paralysis. Given the fact that Zagreb generates a third of Croatia's gross national product, no one should be too happy about this scenario." (21/10/2014)

Sabah - Turcja

Successful coup against Gülen movement

The Turkish judiciary on Friday suspended the proceedings against all 53 suspects - including high-level members of government - arrested in December 2013 for suspected corruption. The pro-government daily Sabah welcomes the news as a successful coup against the Gülen movement: "Since December 17 all of those arrested have been branded in the media as thieves. The Gülenists have initiated other operations like Ergenekon and 'Vorschlaghammer' using the same tactics. ... They hurl empty accusations and convince the public with false evidence. Hundreds of their opponents have already been arrested using similar ruses. Since December 18, President Erdoğan has been engaged in a bitter conflict with the Gülenists. Most Gülenists within the state apparatus have been steamrolled as a result. ... Most of the population was on Erdoğan's side, and he was quickly able to win the war against Gülen." (21/10/2014)


Il Sole 24 Ore - Włochy

Don't react to Italy's budget with dogmatism

Brussels should react sensibly rather than dogmatically to the tax cuts and new debts in Italy's budget law, economist Alberto Quadrio Curzio writes in the liberal business daily Il Sole 24 Ore: "Italy is not seeking confrontation with Brussels. All it wants from Europe is a non-dogmatic approach and political and fiscal rationality in the interpretation of the situation. The arguments set forth in the 2015 budget law are convincing. They should be accompanied by the no less important demand for investments in European infrastructure financed by euro bonds. A strategy that ties in with the 300 billion euro investment plan put forward by European Commission [designate] Jean-Claude Juncker, as well as the measures for which [ECB chief] Draghi plans to gradually create more leeway, and which are aimed at creating liquidity for investments." (21/10/2014)

The Times - Wielka Brytania

Recession above all a political threat for EU

The Eurozone is facing another recession. But far more dangerous than the nervous reaction of the financial markets is the citizens' growing frustration, warns the conservative daily The Times: "As for the eurozone, its biggest economies - Italy, France and Germany - seem unable to escape stagnation and are probably contracting right now. But the real threat is not the kind of financial meltdown that almost fractured the currency union three years ago. The promise by the European Central Bank to underwrite the balance sheets of banks and governments has largely dealt with that risk. The greater danger is political meltdown - eurozone citizens continuing to abandon mainstream parties and demonstrating with their votes that they see the currency union as a slow but unstoppable train to impoverishment." (21/10/2014)


Dziennik Gazeta Prawna - Polska

Polish healthcare system chronically ill

Medical treatment in Poland's state-run clinics and hospitals is worsening by the day and the national health service NFZ is increasingly inefficient, according to a report put out by the country's medical supervisory authority. If that's why patients are having to pay for necessary additional services then the public heathcare system is really on its last legs, the conservative daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna fumes: "Theoretically we all receive fair and equal treatment. But in practice that only applies to a select few. The others wait in lines. And the principle of a free healthcare system is pure fiction anyway. ... In fact, the only thing the principle of equality and fairness guarantees is that we all pay our health insurance each month. The problem is that the NFZ is poorly managed and can't afford anything. That's why it has to force patients to make additional payments." (21/10/2014)

Veidas - Litwa

Mini pension for veterans strengthens Putin

Over the past few weeks the Russian embassy in Lithuania has been informing Soviet war veterans that they have a lifetime entitlement to monthly benefits. Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a corresponding order for the Baltic countries on May 8. Pure propaganda, the weekly magazine Veidas believes: "All you have to do is send a photocopy of your passport and your bank account information to the Russian embassy, and every month 'Putin's pocket-money' - from 10 to 20 euros depending no doubt on age and merit - will be credited to your account. ... With this financial assistance, which is more symbolic than real, Russia's goal is clearly not to make life easier for the recipients. It's mainly just propaganda. ... It is meant to show that the Kremlin has not forgotten its 'suffering compatriots' - either in 'New Russia' or in the Baltic countries. And in that way it is intended to enhance Putin's image as the restorer of the Soviet Union." (21/10/2014)

Duma - Bułgaria

Roma too must pay for electricity

Many Roma in Bulgaria are tapping into public power lines without paying, the daily Duma reports. To avoid the trouble of dealing with the problem the authorities and companies tend to turn a blind eye. But in the end this could fan the hatred of other citizens who have to scrimp and save to pay for electricity and water, the socialist paper warns: "Many other citizens can barely make ends meet. But if they don't pay the bills they end up sitting in the dark. So they grit their teeth and pay their bills. ... They do this not just with electricity, but also with water and public transport, where the ticket inspectors simply ignore the Roma to save themselves the trouble. ... Are all Bulgarians equal before the law or not? And who is being discriminated against here? The Roma or everyone else? This situation can't go on because it fuels hatred, creating a vicious circle." (21/10/2014)