Przegląd prasy | 27/01/2015



Syriza forms coalition with right-wing party


Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as new Greek prime minister on Monday, just 21 hours after the voting booths closed, to lead a coalition with the Eurosceptic and right-wing populist Independent Greeks party. The impoverished middle classes have brought this unusual alliance to power, commentators write, and have doubts about whether the coalition can last.

Der Standard - Austria

Tsipras's government unstable

Forming a coalition with a small right-wing populist party will only increase the difficulties Greece's new prime minister Alexis Tsipras faces, the left-liberal daily Der Standard predicts: "Even without the enormous task of restructuring debt and mastering the economic crisis, this government takeover by the left would be difficult. It lacks experience in government and it poses a challenge for the institutions of the Greek state. A large section of the media is tied up with the two parties of the old system, Nea Dimokratia and Pasok. The police apparatus has seen the left as an opponent up to now. .... It's uncertain whether the ministerial bureaucracy will back Syriza even though the left enjoys the support of some public servants against whose dismissal it fought. There are likely to be conflicts with the Orthodox Church and over foreign policy priorities. Forming a coalition with a small right-wing populist party only makes things all the more difficult. Tsipras's government is of a new type, but it's not stable." (27/01/2015)

Večernji List - Chorwacja

Absurd coalition against austerity

The coalition between the leftist alliance Syriza and the right-wing populist Independent Greeks party is based on no more than a common rejection of austerity, the conservative daily Večernji List comments: "It comes as no shock that the young Greeks whose lives and future are the most jeopardised by the crisis have voted in favour of the ultra-left Syriza. What is shocking is that much of the middle class that normally votes for the large moderate parties have also voted ultra-left. ... That explains the equally shocking fact that Syriza has chosen the Independent Greeks - a nationalist party on the right fringe of the political spectrum - as coalition partner. All they have in common is their opposition to the austerity measures. Apparently that's enough to forge a coalition that delves deep into the sphere of the inexplicable and the absurd. And it's also a sign to Angela Merkel, the mother of austerity so inspired by the frugality of German housewives. (27/01/2015)

La Stampa - Włochy

Impoverished middle class made alliance possible

The impoverishment of Greece's middle class as a result of the rigid austerity measures is what has made the alliance between the left-wing coalition Syriza and the right-wing populist Independent Greeks party possible, writes the liberal daily La Stampa: "The unthinkable has become thinkable, and even a reality in Greece, where the contrast between right and left has been replaced by a different, more urgent contrast, namely that between a full and an empty stomach. ... The red-black alliance in Athens is the forbidden and poisonous fruit of European policies, or more precisely its non-policies. The social welfare state was the most extraordinary achievement of the postwar era. Its total destruction, which so far has occurred only in Greece, is impoverishing the middle class and creating social pre-revolutionary conditions. Because now the battle is between a privileged elite and a desperate people." (27/01/2015)

Naftemporiki - Grecja

EU will make compromises

Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Monday that there is little support for a Greek debt write-off. Before the elections Greece was warned but now the tone is calmer, the conservative daily Naftemporiki writes in satisfaction: "This small change shows a willingness for compromise. And let's not forget: compromise is part of the European Union's genetic make-up: it's how the EU moves and develops. ... Yes, the European leadership could demonstrate its good will and take steps to find a mutually advantageous solution for debt settlement and the conditions of the austerity programme. Presumably the focus of this compromise will not lie on a debt cut but on turning away from unrealistic goals such as primary surplus targets ranging from 4 to 4.5 percent of GDP by 2022." (26/01/2015)


Alfa - Litwa

Putin lacks integrity for Auschwitz ceremony

It's entirely appropriate that Russian President Putin will not attend the ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz extermination camp, the portal Alfa writes: "It's clear that such commemorations are important in diplomacy. Not because of the resolutions that are adopted there, but to show respect for the innocent victims of the Nazi regime. And so that such atrocities that send shivers down the spine of every civilised person will not be repeated. But ensuring that requires at least a modicum of integrity, conscience and responsibility vis-à-vis the international community. Russia's war against Ukraine clearly demonstrates the very opposite of those qualities." (27/01/2015)

Berliner Zeitung - Niemcy

Kurds pay blood toll for the West

Kurdish units, backed by US and allied airstrikes, drove fighters of the Islamic State (IS) out of the northern Syrian city of Kobane on Monday. The time for the anti-IS alliance to help the Kurds is now, the left-liberal daily Berliner Zeitung stresses: "The Syrian Kurds in Kobane weren't just fighting for themselves, but also for the West. And they've paid a high price in blood. Now it's only fitting that they should get the help they deserve. The reconstruction of Kobane will cost many millions. The Kurds must be welcomed to the negotiating table when the future of Syria is under discussion. Above all, however, Turkey's ideologically-motivated total embargo against the Syrian Kurdish enclaves must be stopped. Ankara must be obliged to establish aid corridors. That's the least the brave fighters in Kobane can expect." (27/01/2015)

Hotnews - Rumunia

Even SRI must respect division of powers

The Romanian Constitutional Court last week rejected proposed legislation on Internet security. With this decision it overturned the controversial "Big Brother rule" which would have given the intelligence services free access to the Internet data of companies without a court order. The Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) reacted with harsh criticism, which the news portal Hotnews finds inappropriate: "Commenting on the court's ruling SRI chief [Georg] Maior said he would know who to point his finger at if a disaster occurred. Has an EU Commissioner ever dared to criticise the European Court of Justice for rejecting the EU data retention directive [in 2014]? ... Unfortunately for the powerful institutions that's just how democracy works. No one can simply seize power if they feel like it. As much as democracy is failing in Romania, at least a minimum balance in the separation of powers is being preserved - thanks to a few people who fulfil their duties." (27/01/2015)


Webcafé - Bułgaria

Ivaylo Dichev on the undeclared wars of the 21st century

When was the last time one country officially declared war on another? Cultural anthropologist Ivaylo Dichev wonders on the online portal Webcafé with the military confrontations in eastern Ukraine in mind: "In the past 50 years innumerable bloody conflicts have broken out between states. However what motivated them wasn't the will of one state to conquer another, but an internal conflict in which one side called on a big brother to intervene. ... The Russians don't plan to occupy Ukraine, they want to help the Russian separatists in Ukraine to gain power. The Americans don't plan to conquer Iraq, which they've now laboriously abandoned. The idea behind military interventions is no longer conquering territory: that doesn't pay off any more. ... The problem is that there's no end to these undeclared wars because there are no longer any peace treaties. Who would sign them, and with whom? We've entered a new era of chronic anonymous conflicts between faceless belligerents." (27/01/2015)


Magyar Nemzet - Węgry

US profits from Russia sanctions

The US is benefiting from the EU sanctions against Russia while Europe suffers, the conservative daily Magyar Nemzet points out: "The Germans and Italians have suffered losses, above all in their export trade, although the drop hasn't been too severe. But Lithuania has been particularly hard hit given its dependence on exports to Russia. The good news is that someone is actually benefiting from the sanctions. No, it's not Ukraine, in whose name the sanctions were imposed. Kiev was just an excuse. Ukraine is not just facing bankruptcy; it is also caught up in a draining static war. And on top of that Ukraine is among the losers of the trade restrictions, but no one cares about that. The winner of the sanctions against Russia is the US, whose exports to the Russian market have risen 20 percent within a year. Europe's loss is America's gain." (26/01/2015)

Blog David McWilliams - Irlandia

Bond buying useless without debt relief

The bond-buying programme announced by the ECB last week will only revive the Eurozone if crisis countries like Greece receive debt relief at the same time, economist David McWilliams explains in his blog: "If debts - both national and personal - aren't dealt with, people will have too much debt and won't be prepared to borrow and the banks will have too much bad debt and they won't be willing to lend. Some form of debt relief would make quantitative easing (QE) much more likely to be successful. This is exactly what Syriza wants in Greece and it is an entirely logical move. ... Without debt relief, it is hard to see QE working as well as it did in the US, where it was combined with debt relief, a fiscal expansion and massive early bank recapitalisation." (26/01/2015)

La Tribune - Francja

ECB eases pressure to reform

ECB chief Mario Draghi's decision to purchase government bonds is meant as a signal to crisis countries that it's time to reform. However the plan may backfire, the liberal business paper La Tribune writes: "As subtle as it is, this policy is based on the hope that the governments will react in a certain way. The risk, however, is that they won't. Of course this policy can help reformers. ... Nevertheless it is to be feared that it will have just the opposite effect on those governments that are reluctant to reform. Because any measure that lessens the painful effects of slow growth and unemployment will make reforms seem less urgent and encourage governments to pat themselves on the back for the fleeting signs of improvement and put off unpopular decisions - or even leave them to their successors. ... So it's to be feared that Mario Draghi's poker game will not only drag on, but will also delay reforms and the return of growth." (26/01/2015)

Super Express - Polska

End bank swindle in franc crisis

The Polish government is due to present proposals on Wednesday for helping people who are having problems servicing their mortgages after the uncapping of the Swiss franc against the euro. The conservative tabloid Super Express calls for the rigorous conversion of the loans from francs to zloty so that the banks are hard hit: "The banks tricked the Poles with the exchange rates. The scam was that borrowers always had to buy the francs [for their monthly mortgage repayments] from the bank - at a considerable higher rate. ... What's important now is that the government finally defends the interests of the cheated borrowers. It must make it possible to disburse these bad loans. The country as a whole would benefit. And the banks would foot the bill. ... We will learn tomorrow whether we have a government that represents our interests or only those of the banks." (27/01/2015)

El Periódico de Catalunya - Hiszpania

Only transparency helps against Spain's cartels

The Spanish competition authority CNMC ruled on Monday that 39 companies must pay fines totalling 98 million euros for price fixing. Ensuring as much transparency as possible is the best weapon against this type of cartel, the left-liberal daily El Periódico de Catalunya comments: "The CNMC itself points out that such practices 'are obvious' in many sectors of the Spanish economy but that this is difficult to prove. If that's the case it shouldn't just give up but rather redouble the efforts to create transparency in all operations involving public funds. That applies equally to the administrative authorities' spending and to the companies who work for those authorities. And when cases of cheating are uncovered they must be punished with maximum severity." (27/01/2015)


The Guardian - Wielka Brytania

Remembering the holocaust prevents new atrocities

The horror of Auschwitz must never be forgotten because the memory of such atrocities protects Europe from a revival of fascism, the left-liberal daily The Guardian writes on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz: "The Holocaust set the moral, ethical and geopolitical parameters within which the western world lives, influenced international institutions, sits balefully on the shoulders of writers and artists, and is never entirely absent from our minds. Nor should it be, even though new horrors and new problems have inevitably emerged. ... True, a sprinkling of far-right parties, from Golden Dawn in Greece to Svoboda in Ukraine, is far from constituting a fascist revival. We are not on the road to another Auschwitz. But that is, in part, because we remember what happened there." (26/01/2015)

Hospodářské noviny - Czechy

Anti-Semitism surges 70 years after Auschwitz

A ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet soldiers will be celebrated today at the site of the Nazi concentration camp. At the start of a World Holocaust Forum in Prague also marking the anniversary there were warnings of a resurge in anti-Semitism. The liberal daily Hospodářské noviny echoes the warnings: "It's almost beyond belief that on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz we are again having to talk about a rise in anti-Semitism and a new exodus of Jews. Economic problems in some countries are causing the old hatred to flare. Fundamentalism, fanaticism and racism are real, not just terms out of dusty old history books. Auschwitz, where 1.2 million people died within less than five years, including a million Jews, is history. But history never dies. It has a tendency to repeat itself." (27/01/2015)