Przegląd prasy | 27/04/2015



No solution to conflict over Greece in sight


The battle lines in the conflict over Athens' debts have emerged more clearly after the meeting of the Euro Group on Friday in Riga. Euro Group leader Jeroen Dijsselbloem stressed that without sweeping reforms no further payments would be made. After three months of negotiations there is no sign of an agreement between Greece and its creditors, commentators write, and attempt to find a culprit for the fiasco.

Kathimerini - Grecja

Negotiations end in fiasco

The Greek government hasn't gained a thing from the three months of negotiations with its creditors, the conservative daily Kathimerini writes in disappointment: "One thing's for sure: the government now has fewer friends and allies. ... The accursed uncertainty over a possible Grexit has returned, scaring off investors and menacing the economy. The great hopes for debt relief or a haircut have turned out to be mere dreams. ... No money has been secured from non-Western financing sources, and the foreign press has sided against Greece. Someone is responsible for this fiasco. By the looks of it the government has developed a negotiation plan that's based on a bluff and takes neither the prevailing power structures nor the disastrous repercussions of sustained uncertainty into account." (26/04/2015)

Marianne - Francja

EU tramples on democracy

The EU's position in the negotiations with Greece is unproductive and hypocritical, writes economist and political scientist Jacques Sapir in his blog for the left-liberal news magazine Marianne: "Far from welcoming the arrival in office of a party and coalition truly bent on tackling Greece's structural problems, such as corruption, clientilism and nepotism, the EU has never stopped trying to undermine it and impose a different programme to the one it was elected for. In this way it has shown its complete disdain for the democracy whose virtues its leaders so love to extol. However the current crisis is resolved, be it with a rotten compromise, an insolvency or even a Grexit, the EU's abhorrent attitude will remain etched in the memory of all Europeans - and the rest of the world." (27/04/2015)

The Times - Wielka Brytania

Financial aid only in exchange for reforms

The disorganised Greek government must finally follow through on the reforms it has promised, otherwise it shouldn't get any more money from its EU partners, the conservative daily The Times writes: "This flight of capital is not some nefarious capitalist plot to thwart the will of the people. It is a rational response to the flailing of a government that has no idea how to resolve the country's crisis and which appears to imagine it an effective negotiating strategy to threaten self-immolation. Greece's government should pipe down and propose credible, detailed structural reforms to an economy that does not work. Then, and only then, will Greece's partners and creditors have a moral obligation to parley with them seriously." (26/04/2015)

Handelsblatt - Niemcy

Respect successes of other euro states

The crisis in Greece has blinded observers to the successes of the other states of the Eurozone, the liberal business paper Handelsblatt criticises: "Of course the Eurozone still isn't a growth locomotive for the global economy. Nevertheless most states - with the exception of France - have introduced growth-enhancing reforms. For at least the next two years they can reckon with a strong tailwind from monetary policy. Greece is definitely the exception and not the rule here. The leftist government is in the process of destroying the fledgling trust of investors at home and abroad. For that reason it's also not surprising that the governments of Spain and Portugal don't want to go along with the Greek revolt against the troika's requirements." (27/04/2015)


Gazeta Wyborcza - Polska

Bartoszewski was Poland's bridge builder

The former Auschwitz prisoner and Polish foreign minister Władysław Bartoszewski died on Friday aged 93. He was an exceptional statesman and politician, writes Adam Michnick, editor-in-chief of the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza: "His death has caused everyone deep grief: all democratically-oriented, reflective and honest Poles, that is. Bartoszewski was one of Poland's foremost citizens. ... He built bridges between Poles and Jews, and Poles and Germans, as well as between Catholic intellectuals and their secular colleagues. ... He was active right until the end, and rigorously defended Poland's good name in all parts of the world - with class and competence. Bartoszewski was a very courageous, humorous and patriotic man. And, it must be said, his patriotism had nothing to do with nationalism. He always hated the nationalist megalomania and chauvinistic resentment so typical of the Polish far right." (27/04/2015)

Jutarnji List - Chorwacja

Croatians should understand refugees' suffering

After the most recent refugee disasters in the Mediterranean the liberal daily Jutarnji List voices annoyance at the reaction of the Croatian public: "We here in Croatia were also desperate when the war hit us. We got angry at people who switched to another channel as soon as the news started 'getting on their nerves' about these incomprehensible wars in the former Yugoslavia. Now we are behaving exactly like those whom we criticised for doing precisely the same thing back then. We don't want asylum seekers, we don't want to take our share of the burden, we don't want to be part of such projects. ... So far a thousand people from Syria have applied for asylum in Croatia and most of them have been rejected. The poor people on the capsized boats probably wouldn't have been any better off if they had made it all the way here." (26/04/2015)

Hürriyet Daily News - Turcja

Armenians isolate Turkey with genocide debate

German President Joachim Gauck and Russian President both used the term genocide on April 24, marking the 100th anniversary of the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire. For Turkey this represents a diplomatic fiasco, the liberal paper Hürriyet Daily News concludes: "A years-long vigorous and aggressive campaign by the Armenian state and the Armenian diaspora to get the genocide recognized by more countries yielded important results in 2015. ... Turkey failed to counter the Armenian campaign diplomatically, politically and scientifically. ... Turkey's weak and outdated campaign has produced nothing but more anti-Western rhetoric, which pushed more countries to recognize the genocide. ... The campaign being carried out by Armenia has put Turkey's image abroad into a more difficult state and put Turkey's ties with the Western world into dire straits that can cause more isolation." (27/04/2015)

Simerini - Cypr

Northern Cypriots a model for Cypriots

After beating the conservative officeholder Derviş Eroğlu in a runoff vote on Sunday, the candidate of the centre-left camp, Mustafa Akıncı, is to become the new president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus - which is recognised solely by Ankara. The Greek Cypriots should take this as an example, the conservative daily Simerini writes: "In other European countries and in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis and poverty, the traditional parties are splintering and new political formations are emerging, with new politicians coming to power. The citizens are changing their countries' political map. But the Cypriots are clinging to the parties of the past and to old attitudes and options. They refuse to make space for what is new." (27/04/2015)

Dennik N - Słowacja

Slovakia helped by Poland's Night Wolves ban

The "triumphal procession" of the Russian nationalist biker gang the Night Wolves from Moscow to Berlin to commemorate the 70th anniversary of World War II has begun, but the bikers will have to plan in some detours. Poland has banned them from entering the country, meaning that the group won't be able to go through Slovakia either. The government in Slovakia should be relieved, the daily Dennik N explains: "This means the prime minister and the interior minister won't have to take sides on the question of whether they prefer the dictatorship in Moscow or democracy in the West. ... No matter what they had said, it wouldn't have been plausible. ... It was precisely these politicians who denied entry to Slovakia to the Hungarian president at the time László Sólyomto - the leader of a neighbouring and allied state, a democrat who wanted to commemorate the two country's joint history at the invitation of the [ethnic Hungarian] citizens of Slovakia and in no way posed a threat to our state. He was the exact opposite of Putin's bikers in every respect." (27/04/2015)


Lidové noviny - Czechy

VW patriarch gambled away his position

The chairman of the Supervisory Board of German car maker Volkswagen, Ferdinand Piëch, announced his immediate resignation on the weekend. Piëch overestimated his clout in the power struggle with VW's CEO Martin Winterkorn, the conservative daily Lidové noviny writes: "The flack that Piëch had to put up with was enormous. The Supervisory Board sided with Winterkorn. Despite his extremely strong position, Piëch had no more arms at his disposal to counter the unexpectedly strong resistance. However, the present discord is in fact difficult to understand. The company is currently experiencing the best period in its history. Admittedly, Piëch is known not only for his perfectionism but also for his despotism. ... Perhaps the long-term strategist's official resignation will mark the start of harder times for the group. Certainly, at 78 Piëch is perfectly entitled to retire, although only a few years ago he said that he would only leave VW when he died. Be that as it may, he still remains the patriarch of a clan that owns the majority of the company's shares." (27/04/2015)

Äripäev - Estonia

Latvia's enviable economic policy

The Latvian government on Thursday extended a law under which newly founded firms only pay nine percent value added tax in the first three years. The Estonian business daily Äripäev looks enviously at the Latvians: "With this step a law has been formulated and extended which is clearly aimed at bolstering small companies. And this is not the only important decision. In Latvia there's an upper limit for social contributions on salaries above 3,867 euros. The goal is to promote the creation of highly paid jobs. These are clear examples of how to shape the economic climate in the long term. ... Moreover they highlight very clearly the fact that if at the start of the century Estonia was the pioneer in the region with fresh new ideas, we must now regard the Latvians with deference." (24/04/2015)

Cinco Días - Hiszpania

Spain needs dual vocational education

Despite Spain's recovering economy the country's youth unemployment rate is still at around 50 percent. This prompts the head of Nestlé Spain, Laurent Dereux, to call for dual vocational education that combines lessons and practical work in the left-liberal business daily Cinco Días: "In Spain we are starting to introduce this model. But in my opinion the process is far too slow, especially given that it's not a matter of reinventing the wheel. Germany and Switzerland both have a system that has proven very effective. Offering young people their first work experience, boosting the prestige of vocational training and adjusting education to the needs of the labour market are just a few of the advantages of the dual education system, which without doubt can have a long term impact and also a relatively immediate one. Nothing can generate more optimism in a society than a young generation that can be confident of having a future in the country where it was born." (27/04/2015)


La Repubblica - Włochy

Save cultural heritage in Nepal

After Saturday's earthquake in Nepal the number of victims has risen to over 3,200. In addition, the country's cultural heritage has been severely damaged, including seven Unesco World Heritage sites. The international community must help with reconstruction, the left-liberal daily La Repubblica demands: "The addition of artefacts and archaeological sites to the Unesco World Heritage list gives these creations a universal value and at the same time obliges us to preserve them. Moreover the list - whether implicitly or explicitly - determines that all the assets of the cultural heritage are equal, whether we're talking about the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, the Forbidden City in Beijing or the Acropolis in Athens. ... We must respect this principle of equality in the face of disasters like the earthquake in Nepal. ... The international community must help to save this extraordinary cultural asset." (27/04/2015)


Dagens Nyheter - Szwecja

Immigrant kids should attend school longer

Immigrant children in Sweden will soon be able to take preparatory courses for school for up to two years. The Swedish parliament on Wednesday approved a plan put forward by the government aimed at improving newcomers' grades at school, which lie far behind those of children born in Sweden. The liberal daily Dagens Nyheter also believes more schooling is the answer: "Independently of the quality of education the time factor must also be taken into consideration. Even the most ambitious pupil who arrives late in the school system will find it difficult to get good grades. It takes quantity as well as quality for these pupils to get a better start in life. For that reason they need to spend more time in schools in Sweden - both at the beginning and at the end of their education. The first years in society are decisive for a citizen. And if you arrive a little too late, it only makes sense to be given more time to catch up." (27/04/2015)

Público - Portugalia

Social inequality exacerbates domestic violence

In recent months the number of cases of domestic violence covered in Portuguese media has increased. A crisis-shaken society that is plagued by low wages and unemployment is more susceptible to domestic violence, history professor David Roque explains in the liberal daily Público: "Numerous studies indicate that social inequality increases domestic violence in all its forms; and it's a fact that Portugal is still one of the countries with the greatest levels of social inequality in the world - almost on par with the US. ... A large percentage of the murders and cases of domestic violence occur in an environment in which unemployment and a low sense of social worth prevail. The conclusion that an imbalanced social model can multiply such incidents should make us all stop and reflect, but it doesn't relieve individuals of their responsibility." (27/04/2015)