FACTBOX-European editorial reaction to Greek aid request

BERLIN, April 24 (BestGrowthStock) – Below are excerpts from
editorials and articles in leading European newspapers on
Saturday in reaction to Greece’s request for financial aid from
the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF):

GERMANY

* FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG
“The breaking of the no-bailout clause in the Maastricht
treaty (risks) turning into a nightmare: the first billions-loan
followed by another tranche and after the rescue of Greece, help
for Portugal, Italy, Spain.”

The paper calls for a restructuring of Greek debt and says
the country can only emerge from its fiscal woes by exiting the
euro-zone and devaluing.

* SUEDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG

“It is in the interests of the other countries to help. If
the Greek financial system collapses, the chain reaction will be
uncontrollable. Banks would collapse worldwide, other countries
in southern Europe would be pulled into the abyss and the single
currency system could break apart”

“The EU and IMF must take responsibility and not tolerate
any compromises … A tough (Greek) restructuring could prove a
model for other EU states.”

* TAGESSPIEGEL (BERLIN)

“Whether the euro zone will still have 16 members at the end
of this crisis is an open question. The last way out for the
Greeks, if the aid doesn’t work, is to leave (the currency
bloc).”

* BILD

“The only real solution is a clean break: Greece must leave
the euro, voluntarily, for its own good. It is quite clear that
the single currency is too much of a burden for the country.
Without the euro, which brings with it tight restrictions, the
Greeks would be in a better postion to clean up their economy.”

FRANCE

* LE MONDE
“There’s only one hope when it comes to breaking the vicious
circle: European solidarity. But as the aid package is
activated, that solidarity is once more threatened by cacophony.
As usual, Germany is dragging its feet.”

* LIBERATION

“Berlin was continuously sending contradictory signals to
the markets because the chancellor was not on the same
wave-length as her finance minister …

“In the end, Germany, which didn’t have the slightest
inclination to pay for the Greek bad boy, will now have to lend
it more than 8 billion euros at the comfortable rate if 5
percent anyway. All this when a clear show of solidarity would
have been enough to calm markets three months ago. What a great
display of incoherence and shooting oneself in the foot.”

ITALY

* LA REPUBBLICA

“In the end little Greece will be the Trojan horse for the
interference of the United States in the euro zone.”

“Faced with the SOS from Papandreou the only one that
reacted without hesitation and foot-dragging was an institution
based in Washington.”

* IL SOLE 24 ORE

“What better occasion could there have been for the EU to
say, ‘Not this time’. Now is clearly not the right moment, with
markets confident in an almost certain deal, but it’s a film
we’ve already seen: the optimism will fade fast and and all of
Greece’s problems will return.”

* CORRIERE DELLA SERA

A column suggests help for Greece will be insufficient and
“is only useful to buy time, to allow Spain and Portugal to
strengthen their position and avoid contagion”.

SPAIN

* EXPANSION

The financial newspaper lamented what it described as the
Spanish government’s failure to provide a convincing solution
for the country’s high budget deficit

“The problems are still the same. In fact, once Greece is
removed as a target of investor concern, they’ll look for
another victim.”

THE NETHERLANDS

* HET FINANCIEELE DAGBLAD

In an editorial headlined ‘Set tough conditions’, the
leading Dutch financial newspaper argued that Greece should feel
the “pain” of austerity measures all at once, rather than spread
them out over a longer period of time.

“The markets show that Greece no longer has a choice. If
Athens wants to reduce the risk of a ‘bankruptcy’ as much as
possible, than it needs to take most of the pain this year. That
offers the biggest chance of restoring confidence.”

(Reporting by Noah Barkin in Berlin, Sophie Hardach in
Paris, Gavin Jones in Rome, Tracy Rucinski in Madrid; Aaron
Gray-Block in Amsterdam)

FACTBOX-European editorial reaction to Greek aid request