Prospect of a deal in debt dispute
A day before the next summit of Eurozone finance ministers, there are growing indications of a compromise in the debt dispute with Greece. Commentators voice disappointment that Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was only able to negotiate more austerity measures and doubt that he will be able to sell the deal to his party.
Tsipras faces Herculean task
Greek Prime Minister Tsipras faces the impossible task of keeping creditors, the Greek people and his party happy, the liberal daily Público comments: "Tsipras seems to have cleared the biggest hurdle: convincing the creditors to keep up the financing. But it won't be any easier to convince the Greeks and the different factions within Syriza that further austerity measures aren't in breach of everything he has defended up to now. Well aware that Tsipras has practically zero room for manoeuvre in view of the unbending stance of Merkel and Co., there are already those within Syriza who are threatening to reject the new measures in parliament. Given all these sensitivities within the party, Tsipras is facing a Herculean task."
Useless austerity proposals won't help Greeks
The money-saving proposals put forward by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras are pointless from an economic perspective, the liberal website Capital argues: "Most of the new taxes won't be paid. And in any event Greece will have to redefine its economic policy before the end of the year. The Europeans have accepted Tsipras's proposals although most of them know they won't have any effect. Perhaps they did this for two reasons: a) to demonstrate the submission of the 'biggest' Eurosceptic, troublemaker and demagogue; b) to higlight the failure of the subsidy-based Greek state model and its consequences so that other big economies in the Eurozone and Europe avoid similar behaviour. Over the summer the agreement will give a bit of breathing space to the economy, which has practically ground to a standstill in recent months because of all the uncertainty. But come autumn the problems will be apparent once more."
Syriza hasn't improved EU
The fact that Athens must make cuts in social welfare to get fresh money after all is the result of the EU's narrow-minded, nation-state dominated policy, the left-wing daily taz comments, lamenting that Syriza failed to drum up more solidarity: "[Brussels' policies] can only be explained as the result of the mental re-nationalisation of certain key European countries. It's true that Athens has received billions in loans but that has nothing to do with solidarity or the European project. … This policy needs a counter-concept. A European pre-emptive strike and the snubbing of narrow-minded nationalists: without a debt cut in the south, a common economic and social policy and pooled debt, Europe will collapse. The lamentable thing about the Greek government is that it isn't serving this cause. It has neither formed alliances for a different Europe nor is it a left-wing alternative for the continent."
Confrontation course has hurt Athens
The Greek government's aggressive confrontation tactics in the wrangling with its creditors have achieved nothing and caused a lot of damage, columnist Shane Coleman writes in the conservative daily the Irish Independent: "Syriza's tactics have run into a brick wall. Banging the table, or megaphone diplomacy, has got it nowhere, serving only to harden attitudes in Brussels, Frankfurt and New York. The public language being used about Syriza - best encapsulated in IMF chief Christine Lagarde's comment about the need to negotiate with 'adults in the room' - is unprecedented in the history of the EU. ... The cold, hard truth is that banging the table when you're a small country, without the means to raise money, and with a banking system wholly dependent on outside funding, is pointless."