Grexit discussion once more on the table
The Greek government on Sunday denied media reports that the country could be insolvent as early as the end of the month. EU Council President Donald Tusk has warned meanwhile that Greece could be forced to leave the Eurozone against its will. Some commentators stress that the Greeks must finally decide whether they want to stay in the monetary union. Others criticise the EU for clinging to dysfunctional rules.
In or out: Tsipras must decide
Whether he likes it or not Alexis Tsipras faces the choice between implementing his programme or keeping Greece in the Eurozone, the conservative daily Le Figaro demands: "The problem is not liquidity but a lack of creditworthiness. The crisis in Greece can only be solved through profound domestic reforms with the support of the EU. But since the basic agreement of February 20, Greece hasn't presented a credible reform programme - or even economic data. Alexis Tsipras must choose between sticking to his programme or Greece's remaining in the Eurozone. But as he lacks the courage to make a move one way or the other, he is now threatening to hold a referendum or new elections. With the risk of playing right into the hands of the Nazis of Golden Dawn. As so often in history, the far left is paving the way for the far right."
Grexit would be disastrous in the short term
Greece's exit from the Eurozone would cut off the country from the external funding it so urgently needs, the liberal business daily the Financial Times warns: "A Grexit is not an outcome any rational person would wish for. ... It is unclear how the global financial system would cope. The eurozone's fledgling economic recovery would be at risk. For Greece an exit may well work in the long run if it is well managed; but it will bring economic misery in the short term. The country is still running a current account deficit, meaning it is reliant on external funding to support domestic consumption. That funding may disappear from one day to the next, should Greece default on its creditors."
Euro Group fears left-wing governments
The struggle between Athens and the other euro states is not primarily about money, the liberal-conservative daily Der Tagesspiegel believes: "It seems the administrators of the euro crisis are more afraid of a leftist government than of the billions in losses from unpaid loans that the failure of the Tsipras government would entail. Ultimately this example could set a precedent. ... But if those who resist reforms in Berlin and Brussels really do manage to impose their old, failed programme on the rebels in Athens, the ensuing risk will pose a far greater threat than Syriza and other similar parties could ever do. Because a victory over the rebels in Athens would send a disastrous signal across Europe. Either the economically weaker countries kowtow to the Germans and their agents in Brussels or they'll be driven into economic decline. That, however, would be the biggest electoral boost that Marine Le Pen, her Front National and all anti-Europeans could ever hope for."
Athens' plight just a little foretaste
In its dealings with Greece the EU is clinging to rules that are doomed to fail, the left-liberal daily Delo criticises: "The problem is that the EU and Brussels can't be right a priori in the dispute with Athens because the member states are still acting as if their rules were okay. And as if another Greek amputation was inevitable. Berlin is even less right because it is intent on healing all Europe with measures that have been proven wrong, and it has intentionally or unintentionally become a despot in Europe. Athens is perhaps really an excess that can't be saved by the rules that apply in Europe, but the Greeks aren't the main problem here. The main problem is the wrong approach to saving what led to this excess. The longer Europe sticks to this approach, the more likely it is that it will end up in the situation the Greeks are already in."