Factbox: Commentaries on euro zone debt crisis

(BestGrowthStock) – Following are extracts from Tuesday’s newspapers across Europe on the euro zone crisis, after the unveiling of a $1 trillion emergency rescue package to stabilize the euro.

GREEK NEWSPAPERS

TA NEA (LEFT-LEANING DAILY)

“In these difficult times of it was heart-warming to see the images of Europe’s leaders confidently announcing that they have found a way to fend off speculators and protect the common currency.”

“Even if they were late, these images were gratifying for the collective conscience.”

“The Brussels agreement is a powerful protective shield for European people. But, for Greeks in particular, this decision will not lift the heavy cross that workers need to bear in the following years.

TO VIMA (LEFT-LEANING DAILY)

“Greece has been warning for months now that speculators were creating the market pressure and that Europe as an institution was being undermined. Few were convinced by those warnings.”

“On Friday, everyone was finally convinced about the size of the threat. This is one more sign that Europe must change, it must accept that the European house is our common home. In this home there are no poor relatives and no evictions are allowed.”

GERMAN NEWSPAPERS

BILD (MASS CIRCULATION)

Front page headline: “We are Europe’s fools again!”

“Yes, the euro is a godsend. Yes, the euro is a guarantor of our peace and wealth. Yes, leaving the euro should never be an issue for us Germans.”

“But the “rescue umbrella” for the euro is a failure for Europe. It is what the fathers of the euro, above all Helmut Kohl, did not want… Angela Merkel, the “Iron Chancellor” has rolled over and we are taken to the cleaners.”

“We Germans have made sacrifices for a stable euro for the last 10 years with wage restraint and no pensions’ rises. We have paid the price while others have been partying at our expense… Now the Chancellor is telling us some of the truth: there will be no tax cuts in the next two years. That is the shocking message: others have notched up debts and we must tighten our belts. Europe’s road into the Transfer Union is leading us into decay!”

SUEDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG (Center-LEFT)

“750 billion euros is a huge amount.. it commands respect and possibly fear.”

“Fear is fueled by a broad lack of understanding about what is happening on financial markets.. but we are experiencing things that can be explained… World states have lived over their means for a long time.

“It is no peculiarity of the euro that its states, just like other countries, are indebted. It is stupid to maintain that member states who agreed the 750 billion euro promise have fatally shot the euro. Actually, they have found normality.”

“At the time, politics dictated that something came together that did not fit economically. A comparison with German reunification is appropriate…things won’t be so economically comfortable for the Germans from now on, just as West Germans aren’t as comfortable as they were before reunification.

DIE WELT (Center-RIGHT)

Comment from Joerg Eigendorf:

“Let us imagine that Angela Merkel had stood firm in the night until Monday. The chancellor would have said no to the desires of European neighbors to dig a grave for the independence of the European Central Bank. And she would have insisted on strengthening the stability pact.”

“You wouldn’t even want to imagine what would have happened then. It is quite possible that such a steadfast position would have meant the end of the euro. The consequence would have been chaos in the whole of Europe. And we Germans would have been once again guilty.”

“Precisely that shows the dilemma that Chancellor Merkel and Germany are caught up in. We cannot push through our culture of stability in Europe. Germany stood practically alone in the night to Monday when the rescue of the euro was being debated. The euro zone is dominated by countries for whom currency stability is not so important. And leading the opposition is President Nicolas Sarkozy, whom the weakened chancellor could little oppose. With a devastating result: what seemed yesterday set into stone is today no longer valid. Nothing symbolizes that more strongly than the loss of the central bank’s independence. The power division between monetary and financial policy in Europe is history.”

FRENCH NEWSPAPERS

LE MONDE

“One should of course rejoice about the fact that the Europeans have at last succeeded in overcoming their differences … the question is, is it already too late?”

Le Monde said one worrying point was the loss of credibility for the ECB and its governor, Jean-Claude Trichet, who had first of all failed to prevent the IMF getting involved and then failed to prevent the ECB from buying up euro zone debt.

“That is a lot of bitter medicine to swallow for the ECB, which up until now was the only European institution to inspire confidence amongst the major international investors.”

The newspaper concluded: “The emergency plan will bring down the fever but won’t cure the patient.”

LIBERATION (LEFT-LEANING DAILY)

“For the first time, Europe has rejected its monetarist shackles and put in question the sacred independence of the ECB … (But) this plan, put together during the emergency of a contagious crisis, does not tackle the fundamental realities of the euro zone. Is the structural disparity between economies as disparate as Germany and Greece, sustainable? Are the 27 (member states) ready to abdicate their sovereignty to regulate the markets and banks and to coordinate their budget and fiscal policy? If not, this plan will just serve as morphine, as the IMF has confessed.”

LES ECHOS (BUSINESS DAILY)

“The excess of debt, which threatens to kill off the euro, concerns us all. The only way to get rid of it, without having to suffer the lot of Greece, is to be bold with reforms that will help economic growth take off. If only Europe could demonstrate the same voluntarism over the long term as it does in the face of an emergency.”

SPANISH NEWSPAPERS

EL PAIS

“This is a public financial intervention without precedents to save the euro. European officials have now offered an image of the euro zone governing itself for the first time. Whether they admit it or not, this is a step toward a common economic government for the euro zone.”

“But the success of this weekend gives no guarantee of future successes. The exceptional measure is equivalent to buying time for the countries that are affected by investor doubts about their abilities to carry out adjustments.”

“It is not enough to announce adjustments, they have to be credible and they have to be applied. The Spanish government is one of the destinations for this message. The government has announced additional measures but we still don’t know how this savings will be achieved.”

ABC

“With the focus firmly on Portugal, and above all Spain, the intervention by the European Union and European Central Bank has provided relief as the risk of an imminent liquidity crisis had threatened to turn into a long-term crisis of solvency.”

“After what happened this weekend and the initial market reaction, the government cannot continue hiding. It may return to the temptation of blaming the financial markets, but now it is not just accountable at the ballot box but also to its European partners, who need to be convinced that Spain deserves the credit it lost in recent weeks.”

“After the help from the EU, the government needs to take advantage of this last chance to redirect the Spanish economy. If it doesn’t do it, it will be the EU that exhibits publicly the misery of a government that is imprisoned by its own negligence.”

PORTUGUESE NEWSPAPERS

DIARIO DE NOTICIAS

“Yesterday, Prime Minister Jose Socrates could breathe a sigh of relief: with the announcement of new austerity measures and the European plan to save the euro and the countries that need help, Portugal was finally safe from a catastrophe.”

“But as the ECB’s Vitor Constancio warned, it is important that the Portuguese government doesn’t conclude that the storm is over… The European plan offers the safety net, but doesn’t save Portugal from the abyss.”

PUBLICO

“Similarly to what happened with Greece, Portugal doesn’t have a choice: either it faces its financial problems seriously, or it can stop counting on the protection and complacency of its partners in the single currency.”

“It was in the sequence of that pressure, or threat, that the prime minister decided to announce cuts in public works spending and the finance minister signaled the possibility of raising taxes. Placed between the sword and the wall, the government did the possible: it chose the wall.”

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(Reporting by Crispian Balmer, Sarah Marsh, Madeline Chambers, Christopher Lawton, Shrikesh Laxmidas; Editing by Maria Golovnina and Reed Stevenson)

Factbox: Commentaries on euro zone debt crisis