Athens under time pressure
After meeting with top EU representatives on Thursday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has committed himself to introducing concrete reform measures in the coming days. Once this happens Athens is to receive further financial aid. That does nothing to change the fact that the Eurozone is dysfunctional, commentators criticise, and warn that Greece's fate must not be left in the hands of Russia and China.
Only a quiet revolution can save Eurozone
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Thursday for a combination of solidarity on the part of the EU states and effort on Greece's part in order to end the crisis. But that won' be enough, the conservative daily Die Welt warns: "If the Eurozone is to have a future it must be rebuilt fast - and taken in the direction of a joint budget and economic policy with a single finance minister. That would be the end the sovereign state in the conventional sense. It would border on an act of impertinence: a silent revolution. ... The gruelling first steps now being taken toward a Greek bailout should not blind us to far greater concerns: France and Italy. To discipline these two countries suffering from chronic structural weakness and exorbitantly high public debt in time, the heads of government require other instruments than a stability pact full of elastic clauses. They need a Europe that works."
Put an end to the Greek farce
Greece has overstepped the mark in recent weeks, Alan Friedman writes on his blog: "Athens could have received more aid from Berlin and Brussels if it hadn't resorted to verbal terrorism and endless senseless threats. Who seriously believes that threatening to send jihadists and terrorists to Germany will help it get more money from Europe? Or that it will benefit Greece's position in the Euro Group to constantly bring up the subject of the Nazis and demand that its debts be written off in compensation for the German occupation of Greece 70 years ago? Instead of this cheap comedy on Athens' part, we need serious negotiations between Greece, the troika and the Euro Group: on further reforms, the form and extent of potential debt relief and the question of how much more money Europe and the International Monetary Fund can give - and for how long."
Saving Athens costly, but a Grexit even more so
The summit has highlighted the dilemma the EU leaders face, Brussels correspondent Cristian Unteanu comments on the blog of the liberal-conservative daily Adevărul: "The solution is either to break the vicious circle now or to bear the situation politically. Put in non-politically correct terms, we must decide whether we Europeans want to pay even though we know that we'll lose out financially but would at least keep Greece in the system. Or do we refuse to pay and let other players take our place: first of all the Russians, then China and a few Arab states. ... Tsipras knows very well that a Grexit would be a terrible blow to the European project and its credibility. Particularly now that Europe is under pressure from Russia and trying to find a formula for harmonising its domestic markets. Consequently that means finding a solution to save its credibility."