Przegląd prasy | 28/08/2015



Dozens of refugees suffocate in lorry


The Austrian police on Thursday discovered the bodies of more than 70 refugees in a truck abandoned on the hard shoulder of a motorway. Minister of the Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner has said asylum seekers with a chance of being allowed to stay should be permitted to enter the EU legally. Such a move would deprive traffickers of their means of sustenance, commentators write in approval, and urge people to try and see things from the refugees' perspective.

Aargauer Zeitung - Szwajcaria

Spoil refugee smugglers' business model

Following the refugee tragedy in Austria the liberal Aargauer Zeitung calls for the EU to take steps to destroy the smugglers' business model: "Anyone who wants to be credible in their outrage at these lowlifes should at least stop driving refugees straight into their arms. Smugglers are only successful where there's no legal route. … Only people who fear being attacked and sent back otherwise will get in the back of a lorry with a big burly driver. If the police were to destroy the criminal bazaars on the borders or at the main train stations, they could be sure of the victims' approval. Setting up help centres to provide emergency supplies and information at critical border crossings and in those places where refugees gather would already be a big help. As things stand now, that's a punishable offence; aiding illegal border crossing. This is unnecessary and absurd." (27/08/2015)

Kurier - Austria

Fear, despair, humiliation, suffocation

After the discovery of a lorry containing dozens of dead refugees the liberal daily Kurier asks readers to put themselves in the position of those who died: "What was it like? The fear, the hope, the despair. The relief at having escaped war and agony, tempered by the premonition of other impending dangers. Having to rely on people who don't waste another thought on you as soon as you've given them the last of your money. How did that feel? The darkness, the degradingly cramped quarters, the stench. The humiliation of having to relieve yourself no more than inches from your neighbour. The hunger, the thirst, the heat. What was it like? When the level of oxygen dwindled, when no one heard the cries of desperation, when the first people died? The frenzied fear, the last thoughts of home and family, the last gasp for breath? And now imagine it was your own son or daughter in that lorry." (28/08/2015)

Novi List - Chorwacja

EU lacks solidarity as a fundamental value

Disappointment at the EU's lack of solidarity with the refugees is the centre-left daily Novi List's reaction to the situation: "The main problem is that the EU is not a social union or a union of solidarity, as the Greek crisis has amply demonstrated, but a capital union. The Slovenian analyst Anton Bebler wrote in the newspaper Delo that according to the Treaty of Lisbon solidarity is not one of the EU's fundamental values - whereas freedom, democracy, the rule of law and protecting human rights and the rights of minorities are. Solidarity is left to each member state to decide on. If a state's domestic policy displays solidarity, that doesn't necessarily mean it must display solidarity in its foreign policy. But the people knocking on Europe's doors today need European solidarity. Most of them are refugees fleeing war and death, while only a minority are migrants seeking a better life." (28/08/2015)

Sme - Słowacja

Slovakia must not ignore refugee drama

Until now Slovakia has not been a destination for the tens of thousands of refugees coming to Europe via the Western Balkans. But the lorry of death discovered on Thursday on a motorway south of Vienna once belonged to a Slovakian company, and that alone should prompt Slovakians to reflect on their attitude towards the refugees, the liberal daily Sme admonishes: "This horrible tragedy not far from our borders reminds us that the refugees are also our problem. The Slovakian logo on the lorry in which dozens of people suffocated isn't the only thing that binds us to the refugees. ... Such alarming dramas are taking place all around us on a daily basis. Nonetheless many Slovakians go on turning a blind eye and saying the tragedy has nothing to do with them. But such an assertion is wrong - and a tragedy in itself." (28/08/2015)


Financial Times - Wielka Brytania

Debt write-down for Ukraine just a first step

Ukraine's government reached an agreement for a 20 percent debt write-down with its main private creditors on Thursday. This is a welcome development but now the state creditors must also do more to help Kiev financially, urges the liberal business daily the Financial Times: "Now that private creditors have agreed to share the burden, the focus shifts back to international financial institutions and western capitals. The $25bn [approximately 22 billion euros] support committed to date - excluding the savings from debt restructuring - may seem large in comparison to Ukraine's economic output, shrunken by recession and devaluation. But it is paltry compared with its real needs, and to the support given to the likes of Greece." (27/08/2015)

Delo - Słowenia

Montenegro and Bosnia are growing up

Montenegro signed a border agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday at the Western Balkans Summit. The centre-left daily Delo commends these two states of the former Yugoslavia as role models for the rest of the Balkans: "There can be no doubt that a very clear message must be sent to the Balkans in particular, namely that first of all the open questions among neighbours must be resolved, including those pertaining to borders. Because a country that is unable to maintain good relations with its neighbours can't be credible in international relations. And much less can it offer advice to others. Montenegro and Bosnia can do this now." (28/08/2015)

Hürriyet - Turcja

Turkish opposition refuses to get involved

A so-called "election government" consisting of representatives of all the parties in parliament is to govern Turkey until the repeat of the parliamentary elections on November 1. The centre-right daily Hürriyet criticises the fact that no members of parliament from two opposition parties, the Kemalist CHP and the ultra-nationalist MHP, will participate in the government: "Despite everything, it would be important to take part in this government given the possibility that it may remain in office even after the elections. There are two months to go until the vote. And if the formation of a government fails yet again this government will remain in office for another six months until a new election government is formed. With their decision not to provide any ministers the CHP and MHP are missing the chance to participate in the running of the country and to monitor the government." (28/08/2015)

Les Echos - Francja

Can Tsipris fool the Greeks?

With last week's resignation Greece's ex-prime minister Alexis Tsipras wants to hold early elections while public opinion is still in his favour, Demosthene Davvetas, a former advisor to his conservative predecessor Antonis Samaras, has said. But his gamble could backfire, the liberal daily Les Echos believes: "By calling elections so soon after the first tranche of the bailout was paid and before October, when the people will start to feel the brunt of the reforms, Alexis Tsipras wants to take advantage of the still positive mood to secure his grip on power. In so doing he is pinning his hopes on popular dissatisfaction with the corrupt political system and the established political parties. But will that work now that he himself has acted like those he denounced and signed a third unbearable memorandum? He himself started the countdown, and in so doing he looks very much like a representative of the system that the people have rejected until now." (27/08/2015)


Deutschlandfunk - Niemcy

Germany needs workers from the Balkans

At the Western Balkans Summit in Vienna on Thursday the EU decided to spend 600 million euros on cross-border infrastructure projects. This sum is nowhere near enough to improve the economic situation in the region, criticises the public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk: "The oft invoked process of rapprochement between the Western Balkans states and the EU is beginning to falter, also because the European Union, shaken by an identity crisis, doesn't want any more expansion right now. But what is stopping Germany from bringing out a new edition of the agreement for foreign workers of 1968, and thus opening up the EU labour market to all six Balkan states? That would be more than just words. It would help the countries and accelerate their integration into the EU. … It could also ease the strain on the European Union's asylum system because it would be foreign workers coming from the Western Balkans, not economic refugees." (27/08/2015)

Corriere del Ticino - Szwajcaria

Stock market crash exposes China's power struggle

Weak growth or a speculation bubble? The West is trying to pinpoint the reasons for the Chinese stock market tumble. But for the liberal daily Corriere del Ticino the government's rather confused reaction reveals the real reason for the crash: "The apparent confusion is no mere coincidence but the product of a ruthless power struggle at the helm of China's Communist Party. … The role of the number one, [state and party leader] Xi Jinping is at stake here. … His financial policy is being criticised as too reformist, and above all his fight against corruption has lost support. The clan of former general secretary Jiang Zemin, which opposed Xi Jinpin's election to party leader three years ago and wanted Bo Xilai [who was convicted of corruption and abuse of power] as leader instead, is working against the new 'emperor'. … The result could be a change in leadership, the arrest of opponents or - the most likely scenario - a compromise in which Premier Li Keqiang and the chief of the central bank are sacrificed." (28/08/2015)

Ilta-Sanomat - Finlandia

Adapt opening times to Internet era

The Finnish government wants to liberalise store opening times. It's about time, too, the tabloid Ilta-Sanomat believes: "Store hours have been liberalised step by step since the 1960s. The current situation is confusing for consumers because different rules apply for stores with a surface area of less than 400 square metres than for larger stores. ... In addition the law makes it possible for stores to apply for a special permit for holidays. But the bureaucratic hassle and the fee of 200 euros make that out of the question for hairdressers, for example. Fixed opening times no longer fit in with a society that relies more and more on e-commerce and in which work no longer takes place from 9 to 5." (28/08/2015)

ABC - Hiszpania

Spaniards shouldn't vote for the left

Spain's gross domestic product rose by one percent in the second quarter, it was announced on Thursday. The economy's growth must not be jeopardised by a change in political leadership in the autumn, the conservative daily ABC warns: "Now that Spain can count on a solid basis for continued growth it must not deviate from its course. The main threat to recovery is no longer economic but political. The upcoming general election is crucial. It doesn't look like the Socialists, with their plans to increase spending and reverse reforms, will be able to maintain the right course. Not to mention Podemos, whose populism would translate into ruin and destruction if put into practice, as the disastrous examples of Greece and Venezuela show. Spain needs to maintain its current course of stability and reform in the next legislative period if it is to overcome the crisis once and for all." (28/08/2015)


Politiken - Dania

New course paves the way for Danish Islam

The faculty of theology at the University of Copenhagen plans to offer Islamic theology as a new course of study. The centre-left daily Politiken welcomes the decision: "The politicians' wish is that this will strengthen moderate Islam in Denmark. And perhaps it will, even if introducing this course naturally doesn't guarantee a reduction in the number of extremists in the country. … The initiative reaches out to moderate Muslims, who actually make up the majority of Muslims in Denmark. For ethnic Danes the initiative also offers the chance to gain a better understanding of Islam. It is only natural that the dialogue among religions functions best on the basis of knowledge. A Danish branch of study on Islamic theology could ease the transition from monoculture to multiculture." (28/08/2015)


Expressen - Szwecja

Author of Millennium 4 not evil

David Lagercrantz's book The Girl in the Spider's Web was launched worldwide on Thursday. The author of the sequel to Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy has been been accused in his home country Sweden of trying to capitalise on the literary legacy of author Larsson, who died in 2004. But critics go too far when they depict Lagercrantz as unscrupulous, the liberal tabloid Expressen writes: "The Millennim books are entertainment literature whose goal is to sell and at best give readers a few deeper insights to chew on. They have nothing to do with the brilliantly fragile prose of a Nobel Prize contender, but rather with a genre that thrives on an entirely different set of mechanisms. And no one, not even Stieg Larsson's partner Eva Gabrielsson [also a critic of Millennium 4], can know how Stieg Larsson himself would have wanted to see his legacy passed down after his death." (27/08/2015)


Gazeta Polska Codziennie - Polska

German media have already judged Duda

Poland's President Andrzej Duda visits Berlin today, Friday. The daily Gazeta Polska Codziennie, which is closely aligned with Duda's national-conservative party PiS, complains that prejudices abound regarding the new Polish head of state: "We already know how his visit to the German capital will go, and the important questions that the two leaders will discuss. The last interview he gave to the Bild Zeitung leaves no doubt that the Ukraine conflict and the relations to Russia will be the top points on the agenda. ... But no one doubts that these discussions will be extremely difficult. Because right from the start the German media mobilised public opinion against the Polish president. Immediately after his victory one weekly wrote that 'Poland has elected an anti-Russian Eurosceptic'. Today Duda will face an uphill battle." (28/08/2015)