Tsipras threatens with resignation
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has hinted that he will resign if the Greeks vote in favour of the creditors' austerity demands. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have meanwhile spoken out against the lenders making a new offer. Both sides must return to the negotiating table to prevent a Grexit, some commentators urge. Others believe the euro should be scrapped entirely.
Brussels and Athens should end power games
A Grexit will have repercussions for all Europe, warns the centre-left daily Efimerida ton Syntakton, appealing to Athens and the EU to stop their power games: "Fear and division are the two major dangers at this moment. … Perhaps this is a unique opportunity in the long history of the Greeks for them to fight out the campaign against the austerity policy and the powers that be - a fight with which most European nations identify. The dip in share prices when the markets opened on Monday has shown that a Grexit is not just Greece's problem but everyone's. It won't be easy, either for us or for our EU partners. Everyone should now stop playing the power games and assume responsibility: We don't deserve to see the country crash. And we must stick together."
Leaving the monetary union could help Greece in the long term even if the Greeks suffer inititally, the liberal daily Keskisuomalainen writes: "If the financing [by the creditors] ends after a no vote in the referendum on Sunday, Athens will be left to its own devices. … Greece will probably leave the Eurozone one way or another. If it has its own currency it can devalue it and thus slowly regain competitiveness. In practice, having one's own currency results in a rapid and efficient impoverishment of the citizens, because the wages currently paid to the Greeks in euros are too high in proportion to the country's output, and the taxes are too low."
Grexit would be a signal to Romania
20 years ago many in Romania saw Greece as a model for development. But if Greece exits the Eurozone it would come as a bitter lesson for Romania, the business paper Ziarul Financiar comments: "If Greece leaves the Eurozone it would call into question the development model for poor countries based on European funding. ... Excluding Greece from the Eurozone would prove that it is not possible for a country to develop mainly on the basis of loans from other states or private lenders. If this catastrophe does happen we'll have to forget about Romania ever joining the Eurozone. The day after the drachma replaces the euro in Greek wallets, Romania will have to take a deep breath and come to terms with the fact that it can only count on itself."
Global perspectives: Return to drachma not an option
The creditors must not give in to Athens now, the liberal daily Wall Street Journal urges, reminding the Tsipras government of the consequences of leaving the Eurozone: "Optimists claim a return to a cheaper drachma would be good for tourism, but that would come with a huge decline in living standards. Greeks who owe debt in euros but suddenly earned income in drachmas would be crushed. Another deep recession would be inevitable. ... Appeasing Syriza's demands could spread political contagion to Spain, Portugal and other countries that might think they too can avoid reform and still be rescued. A last-minute reprieve is possible, but if not the Greeks will have committed suicide by ignoring economic reality."
Europe won't collapse
Although the government in Athens is completely unpredictable its behaviour will not pose a threat to the euro and the EU, the conservative daily Lidové noviny comments: "What goes on in the heads of a radical left-wing government is hard to predict. Perhaps the new drachmas have already been printed. Perhaps Tsipras will stand in front of his people today or tomorrow and hail a new era of progress and social security. Perhaps not. … And what comes next? Will the euro or even the EU go to pieces? Will the Greek example prove contagious? ... No, there won't be any contagion. The Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese and other risk candidates have been sufficiently deterred by the Greek example and won't follow suit. Greece's collapse ultimately won't have any continental significance. Not even if the country introduces a new currency."
Monetary union obsolete
Europe must scrap the monetary union entirely, write the Basel-based economists Lukas Hohl and Rolf Weder in the liberal-conservative Neue Zürcher Zeitung, describing this as the only logical consequence of the looming Grexit: "The US economist Paul Krugman sounds cynical when he writes that the 'real risk for the euro' is that Greece recovers one or two years after exiting the union, setting a positive example that others would follow. We see it as problematic to conclude from this that Greece should be kept in the single currency at any cost. If we believe that the monetary union limits the development potential of countries like Greece, then we must support the Grexit and the long-term dissolution or re-dimensioning of the EMU. … If the euro is not good for the EU or Europe we must start thinking about how to get rid of it."