Merkel and Hollande demand ideas from Athens
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande have called on Athens to present a plan for financing Greece. The two leaders met on Monday to discuss their strategy for today's special Eurozone summit. Europe now has the chance to abandon its neoliberal austerity policy, some commentators write. Others point out that the costs of a Greek debt write-down would weigh heavily on all the countries of the monetary union.
"OXI" will save all Europe
All Europe can benefit from the no in the Greek referendum, the conservative daily La Vanguardia believes: "Ironically, even though the creditors still don't seem to have understood it, the no vote could save the euro, save Greece and possibly save Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland. How come? Because now that he has the guaranteed support of his people Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras can negotiate a reasonable agreement. And after seeing that Tsipras can't be toppled or avoided Chancellor Angela Merkel, President François Hollande and their allies now realise that they have to negotiate a reasonable agreement if they want to save the euro, and perhaps even the European Union."
Greferendum forces EU to rethink strategy
With the no in the Greek referendum the EU has started to free itself of its neoliberal straitjacket, the Christian-social daily Le Courrier hopes: "Thanks to the courage of Alexis Tsipras and his fellow Greeks, the people once more have a foot in Europe's door. Will the Union make use of this historic opportunity? And the - perhaps unique - opportunity to restore meaning to the concept of European solidarity? Are the defenders of Europe so blind that they can't see that the top-down instrumentalisation of the Brussels institutions to impose a neoliberal agenda does more harm to the European ideal than the moaning and groaning of [Ukip leader] Nigel Farage or [FN leader] Marine Le Pen? One thing is clear: the scenario of a reorientation of the EU is highly unlikely after this referendum. … Nevertheless it is to be hoped that the Greeks' determination and dignity will open the eyes of the least naive partisans of European construction."
Global perspectives: Southern Europe's new power
After the no from Greece a new coalition against the centre of power in the north can now form in southern Europe, economist Alfredo Serrano Mancilla writes in the centre-left Argentinian daily Página 12: "The European periphery is rebelling against its centre of gravity in the same way that many other countries belonging to the so-called global periphery have been doing for some years now. The difference is that the rebellious state is integrated into one of the global epicentres, the Eurozone. … Greece has opened the doors not to leave Europe, but for Europe to really become Europe and not just a euphemism that serves as a disguise for the great transeuropean capital. This change of era in Europe initiated by Greece presents a historic opportunity for the south to step out of its peripheral role."
Syriza fails in fight against austerity
The Syriza government's efforts to fundamentally shift the political coordinates in the EU are doomed to failure, the liberal-conservative daily Die Presse concludes: "The leadership of the extreme left-wing party is spreading the perception that Greece can change the European Union's capitalist economic and fiscal system, which has reached its limits, all on its own. That's a pretty big illusion. He who is standing on the edge of the precipice with a mountain of unsolved problems doesn't have the option of bringing about a change of system. Syriza can't even do this in its own country, where the gap between poor and rich is growing, where week after week the prosperous are sending billions abroad while pensioners have to make do with 120 euros per week. Nothing has become any fairer so far. Nothing has improved."
Athens doesn't have exclusive rights to democracy
The Euro Group must not allow itself to be blackmailed into a debt cut by Greece, the left-leaning daily Právo warns: "Democracy can't be blackmailed, Tsipras proclaimed triumphantly after the referendum. But nor can the democracies in Germany, Slovakia or Latvia be forced to write off billions in debt without the approval of the people. The other countries of the Eurozone have the right to say whether they want to play along with the Greek game or not. … For the Eastern Europeans, the threat of holding their own referendums could be a means to force their rich, powerful neighbours to assume the full financial consequences of a massive debt write-down. After all, the policies that have got us into this mess weren't thought up in Bratislava, Llubljana or Vilnius."