Creditors make Athens final offer
Greece's international creditors have made Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras a "final offer", according to media reports after a meeting on Monday evening in Berlin. The offer purportedly proposes a compromise on the terms for further bailout payments. At last Athens is taking the role of a self-confident negotiating partner, some commentators write approvingly. Others hope the proposal will prevent a Grexit for the time being.
Athens won't give in
The fact that the talks at the German Chancellery went on until late in the night is a good sign, the centre-left To Vima website believes: "What has gone on in recent days between Athens and the creditors is unusual. This is the first time since 2010 that the Greek side has done what was never done before: really engage in the negotiations. … This is evident from the sleepless nights in the Chancellery and the fact that there is still no progress in the talks. … And that is the most important sign that the Greek side is truly making an effort. … Because if there was progress it could only mean one thing: complete submission to the creditors' terms."
Europe would pay dearly for Grexit
The scenario of a Greek bankruptcy must be avoided at any cost, the liberal business daily Il Sole 24 Ore writes, welcoming the creditors' attempt to make a "final offer": "The Europeans should reflect on what it means to talk of a Grexit. Many experts claim that Europe is better equipped against the danger of infection now. But instead of listening to opinions we should stick to the figures. If Greece went bankrupt, 600 billion euros would be at stake. Compared to that the Lehmann Brothers bankruptcy was trivial. Perhaps it would be better if everyone thought about the devastating social impact and the damage a Grexit would inflict on the European construction. The outcome of the negotiations is uncertain, but one thing is for sure: Greek's bankruptcy won't be good for the recovery of the European economy."
Smaller Eurozone states must participate
The smaller states must be taken more seriously in the efforts to resolve the Greek crisis, the liberal-conservative daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung demands, pointing out that in countries like Slovenia the proportion of GDP that goes towards helping Greece is far higher than in countries like Germany: "At forums like the so-called mini-summits Athens seeks dialogue above all with countries like Germany or France, the biggest creditors in absolute terms. For states like Slovenia being left out like this is an affront in democratic terms . … The leaders of the Eurozone would do well to take the discontent of the smaller member states seriously. To hack out a deal in Athens among a small group of states and then present the other, less powerful states with a fait accompli seems a dangerous strategy. The principle of consensus applies in the monetary union. The example of Slovakia, which in 2011 almost caused the restructuring of the EFSF bailout fund to fail, proves that the smaller states know how to insist on adherence to that principle. So be warned."