Votes on loans for Athens
After the Greek parliament and the finance ministers of the Eurozone approved a third bailout package for Athens last week, the parliaments of other Eurozone states are due to vote on it this week. Some commentators see the reforms it entails as a historic opportunity for the country's renewal. Others criticise the fact that almost all the money will go to banks and creditors.
Bailout package offers historic opportunity
In accepting the new EU bailout package the Greek parliament has paved the way for historical development in the country, writes the liberal daily Südostschweiz: "Never since the start of the crisis have the reform specifications been so detailed. The creditors have learned from the mistakes of the previous aid concepts and eased the austerity measures to a tolerable level. The focus is on structural reforms aimed at making the country competitive. This provides a great opportunity for Tsipras. He has a historic mission - if he wants it. He can radically change and renew his country. If the young prime minister puts the specified reforms into practice Greece could become one of Europe's most modern countries. Many structural reforms will however take years, if not decades, before they come into their own. So it's a project of generations. And the responsibility Tsipras bears is all the greater because of that."
Financial aid goes to banks and creditors
Ten billion euros of the 26 billion euro first instalment of the third bailout package are destined for hard-hit Greek banks, and 13 billion for repaying ECB and IMF debts. This is pure mockery of Greece's citizens, the conservative daily Dimokratia observes: "As far as 13 of the 26 billion euros are concerned, it will be as if we had never received them. They won't even go through Greek tills. … So this is what European solidarity and European logic look like. They force austerity programmes on us, which we endure with suffering just so they can get their money back, and the banks too, which supposedly recently passed a test, and which we already paid anyway with the first and second austerity programmes! If that's not pure mockery, then what is?"
Athens will squander all the funds again
The finance ministers of the Eurozone approved a third bailout package for Greece on the weekend. In her blog euinside Adelina Marini says she doesn't believe Athens will deal any more responsibly with the new loan of 86 billion euros than it did with the previous ones: "Nothing good came of the two previous, incomplete bailout programmes and the political situation in Greece and in the Eurozone isn't exactly stable now. So there is little cause for optimism. … Who can guarantee that after the first instalment and a potential debt write-down the Greek government won't fall back into its old left-wing habits and start spending more than it takes in again? The government knows that in the name of saving the Eurozone and preserving good relations with the IMF, and supported by the hysterical hue and cry of left-wing US economists, it can get away with anything."
No Europe without consensus
Europe can't work if it is always trying to serve the interests of individual countries, the liberal conservative daily Corriere della Sera warns in view of the new loans for Athens: "Do we still want a Europe? That is the question the citizens are asking themselves, and which the politicians of the member states should also be asking. It is to be feared that the latter will answer with a bureaucratic 'yes'. And that this will be prompted by the ulterior motive of a Europe that is not a synthesis of its components but adapted to the demands of each country. Europe urgently needs to change this course. … Juncker's investment package was passed in December 2014. … The plan was a sign that the EU is not just about conflict over rules and budget regulations, but it has disappeared without a trace. Reforms and flexibility are the prerequisites for growth that Europe needs. And investments and consensus are the engine that drives growth."