FACTBOX-German commentaries on Greek debt crisis

April 26 (BestGrowthStock) – Greece has asked European partners and
the International Monetary Fund for financial aid to help fund
its crippling public debt, but polls show a majority of people
in Germany oppose helping Athens.

Following are extracts from Monday’s editorials and articles
in influential German newspapers on Greece:

BILD (Centre-right, mass-circulation)

“Crisis? What crisis?”

Next to a picture of people sitting outside a bar enjoying
themselves, Bild writes: “There was revelry as always in Athens’
party district of Monastiraki at the weekend, no hint of
crisis.”

DIE WELT (Centre-right)

“The emergency loans from the EU and the International
Monetary Fund … will only secure the ailing country’s
refinancing for the short term and reduce its interest rate
burden by the odd interest rate point.

“The debt mountain will also not be saved away easily —
especially as excessively strict cuts to wages and state
spending greatly increase the risk of a depression in Greece.
The problem is even more irresolvable this way.

“There remains only the flight into devaluation, and that
requires exiting the euro zone. This would make the country
competitive again with its goods and services — a crucial
requirement to be able to really repay the loans.”

SUEDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG (Centre-left)

“The crisis is still controllable but the situation could
easily spin out of control, as soon as doubts arise about the
solvency of Portugal, Spain or even Italy. The International
Monetary Fund fears, for this scenario, not just a European
crisis but a global one.

“Now the (IMF’s) experts can work there (in Greece) and will
probably come to a conclusion within two weeks. In the meantime,
there can be more doubts about EU help for Greece being
available. Anyone in Berlin who still thinks they can delay the
issue until after the state election in North Rhine-Westphalia
(on May 9) is playing with fire. Every question mark behind the
Greece programme pushes up the interest rates and the financing
costs. That could make the clean-up operation irresolvable.”

FINANCIAL TIMES DEUTSCHLAND (Business)

“You could almost think that nothing had changed in the
debate about Greece: the German finance minister continues to
question the billions of euros in aid, politicians from the CSU
and the FDP are calling for the exclusion of the country from
the European Union, and the chancellor hesitates.

“These tactics may help the election campaign in North
Rhine-Westphalia. But they are unsettling markets, thereby
damaging both the Greeks and the euro zone.

“Instead of reacting quickly to the request for aid,
coalition politicians are spending their time on theoretical
proposals, for example the exclusion of Greece from the currency
union: finance speculators would then straight away try to push
other stricken EU states out of the euro zone. And if Greece
rescheduled its debt … it is true that Germans would not have
to cough up aid. But it would get German financial institutions
into a scrape, as they would have to write off part of their
credit to Greece.

“If the government wants to help the euro, it has to send a
quick and clear signal that it will stand by the Greeks. And the
EU must quickly find a solution to make sure that Spain and
Portugal are not next.

“That certainly won’t be easy. A change in the EU treaty,
that contains the no bailout clause, would take too long. A
European Monetary Fund or issuing of euro bonds cover up
considerable risks. But you can only solve these problems if you
dare to tackle them, not with menacing gestures and delaying
tactics.”
Stock Report

(Compiled by Paul Carrel and Sarah Marsh)

FACTBOX-German commentaries on Greek debt crisis