Athens polishes up its reforms

After his visit to Berlin, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras plans to present the Euro Group with an updated reform plan by Monday at the latest. Tsipras must convince Greeks that reforms are long overdue, some commentators write. Others fear that by giving in on the debt issue he will push voters into the arms of the far-right parties.

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Proto Thema (GR) /

Success at home strengthens Tsipras abroad

Domestic successes will give Tsipras more self-confidence in his dealings abroad, the liberal weekly paper Proto Thema believes: "The decisive factor now is how the government deals with undeclared income, the long list [of tax dodgers] and the billions of euros in foreign depots - in a word, how it plans to establish tax equity. ... Of course, also important is how it plans to improve people's lives, for example through the restructuring of public administration. ... The key issue now is whether the new government can maintain its moral advantage over all previous governments while in power. ... But in any case, the stronger it is at home, the more it can hope to achieve abroad."

Nachdenkseiten (DE) /

Prime minister must teach Greeks self-criticism

The Greek prime minister said during his visit to Berlin that "not only others were to blame" for Greece's problems. It is no mere coincidence that Tsipras is confronting his people with the question of their own mistakes now, journalist Niels Kadritzke comments on the blog portal Nachdenkseiten: "Because the government must pass and implement drastic, socially necessary and long overdue reforms very soon, it is obliged to develop a narrative of 'individual responsibility'. … If the Tsipras government wants to reinforce comprehension of the need for this reform programme it must enhance Greek society's ability for self-criticism. … A 'clear and direct' assessment of one's own situation and the homemade problems is a prerequisite for the Syriza government to make the fresh start that the governments of the old, worn-out parties never wanted or managed to make."

Les Echos (FR) /

Syriza's failure pushes voters to the right

The fact that Greece will continue to adhere to the austerity measures can be read as a failure on the part of the Syriza government, the liberal business paper Les Echos comments, fearing that popular disappointment will lead voters into the arms of the far right: "Now that Greece's failure has closed the door on the left people may turn for solutions to the far right, which champions more freedom and a liberation from Europe's constraints. In the next elections Greeks will be tempted to vote for Golden Dawn, which wants to leave the Eurozone and expel immigrants. ... If the light breeze of recovery that is now blowing across the continent dies down and governments fail to find fast and efficient ways to keep Europe's promises, their enemies will have an easy time gaining the upper hand."