Przegląd prasy | 16/09/2014



Change of government in Sweden


After the victory of the Social Democrats in the Swedish parliamentary elections, party leader Stefan Löfven announced he would enter negotiations with both left-wing and conservative parties. He rejected offhand a coalition with the Sweden Democrats. The moderate parties must join forces to counter the rise of the right-wing populists, commentators write, and see the growing social inequality as the biggest challenge the new prime minister faces.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Szwajcaria

Moderate parties must join forces

All of Sweden's political camps must join forces to counteract the new strength of the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats, the liberal-conservative daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung urges: "Unlike in Norway, where the right-wing populists have been governing together with the conservatives for a year, all the parties have refused to cooperate with the Sweden Democrats. If they want to prevent the latter from achieving even better results in four years' time, they must swiftly tackle the problems posed by integration and the labour market. These include joblessness among immigrants, which is almost twice as high as among native Swedes, as well as linguistic integration and the need for special teachers and extra funding asserted by schools in immigrant neighbourhoods. To minimise the influence of the Sweden Democrats, what is needed is cross-party cooperation." (16/09/2014)

Göteborgs-Posten - Szwecja

Sweden needs better integration policy

If the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats (SD) were able to secure 12.9 percent of the vote in Sunday's elections, thus more than doubling their share of the vote, it is above all due to widespread dissatisfaction with the country's integration policy, the liberal daily Göteborgs-Posten comments: "As a result of the unrest in many parts of the world, immigration to Sweden [in recent years] has been comparatively high. At the same time there's not enough housing or employment opportunities. As a result, people are marginalised and enclaves form on the outskirts of the big cities which seal themselves off from the rest of society. This creates dissatisfaction among the majority population and gives xenophobic forces like the SD a boost. ... If we want to reverse this trend, the other parties must take strong, concerted steps to improve integration and create a society in which there is just an 'us', a Sweden in which everyone has the chance to participate. In such a society the SD wouldn't have a chance." (16/09/2014)

Der Standard - Austria

Inequality biggest challenge for Löfven

The new Swedish government led by the Social Democratic election winner Stefan Löfven must take action to balance out the growing inequality of recent years and create a fairer country, the left-liberal daily Der Standard's believes: "The ex-metal trade unionist is a pragmatist from whom businesses have nothing to fear. If he manages to get one of the centre-right parties on board, Sweden may strike out on innovative paths once more to strengthen the social welfare system and boost equal opportunities without driving up taxes any further. We must hope for a success not just for Sweden, but for all the industrial nations that face similar problems - including Austria. But the question of what can be done to stop the gap between rich and poor growing in a globalised economy may prove too much of a challenge for Sweden's social technocrats." (16/09/2014)

Il Sole 24 Ore - Włochy

Advance of the Eurosceptics continues

The success of the Sweden Democrats, like that of the Alternative for Germany party on the same day, shows that Eurosceptics continue to gain ground in Europe, the liberal daily Il Sole 24 Ore warns: "There are no national elections in which nationalistic, xenophobic, Eurosceptic and anti-euro parties have failed to make progress. Their backwards-looking message first gains the support of a minority, who then becomes the majority. That happened in France with the Front National, in the UK with Ukip, in Denmark with the Danish People's Party. All of them emerged as winners from the European elections in May. Their successes have been played down on the grounds that the European elections are a sort of protest vote in which people do not act as responsibly as they do in national elections. Think again. This tide is not ebbing, it's swelling. The more people play down this danger - as if denying the obvious was enough to change reality - and the more they refuse to deal seriously with the challenge posed by the growing popular unease, the more fractured Europe becomes." (16/09/2014)


Handelsblatt - Niemcy

Anti-IS alliance can win only with Islamic world

In the battle against the IS terrorist militia just under 30 states pledged comprehensive support for Iraq in Paris on Monday. However concrete promises were not made at the meeting. Those participating in the conference face a deep dilemma, the liberal business daily Handelsblatt observes: "They know that the IS will be victorious if the bloody pictures provoke a West-versus-the-Islamic-world war and force the latter into involuntary religious solidarity. And the IS will only lose if the alliance manages to unite the 'moderate' Islamic states - Turkey, the Saudis, the Emirates and Iraq - in the fight against it. That won't be easy. But this battle must become the self-assertive battle of those Islamic states that (want to) belong to the civilised world, and the West must support it. If necessary with military aid." (16/09/2014)

El País - Hiszpania

Arab states are high-risk allies

The Arab states in the coalition against the Islamic State pose a threat in the medium term, Middle East expert Rami Khouri warns in the left-liberal daily El País: "The biggest weakness in Obama's coalition is its Arab members, all of whom are autocratic and paternalistic states that share several embarrassing traits: they are reluctant to use their formidable military arsenals in the fight against ISIS, either from political fear or technical weaknesses; they face strong problems with their own public opinions at home that are very dubious about partnering with the American military; their own mistreatment of some of their prisoners in their jails incubated the birth of Al-Qaeda in the 1980s." (16/09/2014)

Rzeczpospolita - Polska

Kiev's first step towards Western integration

The European Parliament and the Ukrainian parliament will sign the association agreement between the EU and Kiev today. This represents a historical opportunity for Ukraine because it is the first step towards permanent ties with the West, the conservative daily Rzeczpospolita comments enthusiastically: "This is a great day for Kiev and all Ukraine. Even though a war is still raging in the east of the country, the anti-terrorist measures have yet to be concluded and Russia has imposed sanctions against the West. ... The ratification of the treaty binds Ukraine's legal system to the EU. This gives Ukrainians the possibility to introduce fundamental changes in the state, society, politics and the economy. This could also lead to the country becoming a full member of the EU and Nato at some stage. It's all up to the Ukrainians now, even if the general conditions are unusually difficult." (16/09/2014)

Blog EUROPP - Wielka Brytania

Spain would not oppose Scotland joining EU

The Scottish independence referendum on Thursday has given the secessionist movements in Catalonia and the Basque Country which the Spanish government rejects fresh impetus. Nonetheless Spain would not block the EU accession of an independent Scotland, political scientist Dani Cetrà writes on the London School of Economics' EUROPP blog, dissipating the hopes of unionists: "The bottom-line in Spain's position is that internal UK politics are a matter for the UK. Spain would have no grounds to oppose Scotland's independence when this prospect is entirely acceptable to the UK government. This is very different to the case of Kosovo, which declared independence unilaterally from Serbia and has therefore not been recognised by Spain. ... An independent Scottish state could be recognised and accepted as a new member of the EU because its independence would have been achieved 'in accordance with the legal and institutional procedures' and with the support of the UK government." (15/09/2014)

La Croix - Francja

Valls's opponents help him on vote of confidence

France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls plans to explain his new government's austerity and reform policy to the National Assembly today, Tuesday, and then call a vote of confidence. Valls's opponents are playing right into his hands, the Catholic daily La Croix suspects: "Seldom has a head of government who was so much under fire called for a vote of confidence in the National Assembly. On the one side he is being attacked by the left-wing members of his majority - including members of his own party. These are the malcontents who criticise his policies on the grounds that they put too much stress on business and not enough on households' buying power. On the other side, the employers' association Medef is making provoking demands. ... In a way, these twin attacks are playing right into the hands of François Hollande and Manuel Valls. They let the executive cast itself as 'centrist', allowing it to say to one side that it is resisting the excessive demands of the other. In other words: give me your support or worse things will come." (16/09/2014)

Jutarnji List - Chorwacja

Russia losing influence in the Balkans

As a result of the Ukraine crisis Russia's traditional allies in the Balkans are one after another turning their backs on Moscow, columnist Željko Trkanec observes in the liberal daily Jutarnji List, noting that this is prompting Russia to cosy up to the Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina: "Moscow won't give up its historical interest in the Balkans in the foreseeable future. But here too, its old allies are gradually turning away from it. [Serbian Prime Minister] Aleksandar Vučić has long since understood that Russia's support against Kosovo's independence comes with a hefty price tag, and is turning to the EU. And Montenegro is also trying to escape the Russian bear's embrace. That leaves the latter without any allies unless - as a last trump card - [the president of the Republika Srpska] Milorad Dodik decides to play along, who would do anything to become the leader of a second Serb state in the Balkans. Moscow is supporting him with all its might." (16/09/2014)


The Daily Telegraph - Wielka Brytania

Renzi can't afford austerity for much longer

According to current OECD forcasts, Italy's economy will shrink by 0.4 percent this year. Bad news for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, columnist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes in the conservative paper The Daily Telegraph: "Italy's rock star leader Matteo Renzi must by now have realised that his first gamble has failed. He thought he could ride a wave of recovery after snatching power in a remarkably audacious move in February, only to discover that Europe is not in fact recovering, and that his country is trapped, with no way out under the current deflationary/contractionary policies of the EMU regime. … Mr Renzi will soon have to make a second gamble, whether to go along meekly with further austerity and fiscal cuts - chasing his tail in a perpetual vicious circle - and suffer the disastrous fate of French leader François Hollande. Or think of a better idea." (15/09/2014)

Mladá fronta Dnes - Czechy

Prague's costly minimum wage deal

The Czech government gave the green light for a good eight percent raise in the minimum wage on Monday. Finance Minister Andrej Babiš approved the raise in exchange for the Social Democrats accepting Věra Jourová of his Ano movement as EU commissioner. This political back-scratching may prove costly, the liberal daily Mladá fronta Dnes warns: "Three percent of the working population receive the minimum wage, that's 120,000 people. For all of them businesses will now have to top up their wages. Wage costs make up the bulk of the costs at many firms. Any increase in the minimum wage, and particularly such a hefty one as this, may force companies to dismiss workers. The majority of the low-wage employees are already concentrated in branches with high unemployment rates. And even with the current minimum wage these levels haven't improved despite the gradual recovery. ... When it comes to minimum wages you have to balance things very carefully. If it is increased at all, then it should be very cautiously rather than in leaps." (16/09/2014)

Phileleftheros - Cypr

Cyprus's politicians just too cowardly

Cyprus will not receive its next bailout installment of 456 million euros for the time being on the grounds that the Cypriots have failed to do enough to tackle the problem of non-performing loans in the real estate sector. This assessment was made last week by troika experts. The liberal daily Phileleftheros voices its disappointment with Cyprus's politicians: "Not a single step forward has been taken. Politicians of all stripes prefer to let the problems grow rather than taking hard and painful decisions. They don't think about the future. Because although these decisions would be painful for some, they would provide a vision of the future that would benefit everyone. The people have the right to make demands, but politicians have no right to mock them. They should show the people the right path, no matter how painful it is. Unfortunately we have no such politicians in Cyprus." (15/09/2014)


Club Z - Bułgaria

Bulgarians must get to know refugees better

Protests by residents in the western Bulgarian village of Kalishte prevented the children of refugees from the Middle East and Africa from entering school on Monday. The protesters fear the children may have infectious diseases. In such situations only education helps, the news portal Club Z writes: "Most Bulgarians don't differentiate between news images of masked men who execute innocent victims and refugees who could become their neighbours. ... That's because no one bothers to prepare the local population for the refugees, or for example to explain to them that their children are healthy and don't carrying infectious diseases. No one thought to organise a meeting between the refugees and the villagers so that they could get to know each other and discover that they probably have far more similarities than differences." (15/09/2014)

Cumhuriyet - Turcja

Teachers must defy Islamisation

In time for the start of the new school year many secondary schools in Turkey have been converted into religious imam schools where natural science lessons have been partially replaced by lessons in the Koran and Arabic. In the Kemalist daily Cumhuriyet, journalist Can Dündar calls on the teachers to oppose this education policy: "Dear teachers, you know that Turkey has fallen far behind in the area of education. ... With its latest initiative the government wants to have a prayer room set up in every school, but it is failing to ensure that our children are able to become scientists, researchers, inventors, artists or literary scholars according to international standards. Teach them critical thinking before you teach them religion! Don't teach them to obey but to judge. Don't lead them into blind faith but towards rationality. Encourage them to seek and attain the truth!" (16/09/2014)