Daily Press Summary
WSJ: Talks over disbursement of new tranche of Greek bailout delayed until October
According to an EU official quoted by the WSJ, experts from the EU-IMF-ECB Troika will travel to Athens in early September and “stay the whole month in order to report to the October Eurogroup” – meaning that eurozone finance ministers will not discuss the disbursement of the next tranche of the Greek bailout loan until then. Meanwhile, talks between Greece’s coalition leaders on the new €11.5bn package of savings for 2013-14 are still stalling over the planned introduction of a labour reserve scheme for public sector workers, reports Kathimerini.
Kohler: EU political union flies in the face of Europe’s political and economic diversity
Writing in FAZ, Berthold Kohler, one of the paper’s editors-in-chief, argues that with the eurozone crisis, a “European political belief bubble has burst. However, there is already a new dogma: The only choice available to Europeans is to seek refuge in a political union.” He goes on to argue, “To believe that [Europe’s] variability could be reduced to a common denominator with a single strike of constitutional and political genius, which the peoples of Europe will enthusiastically agree to in the face of all previous experiences, is to underestimate the strength of their cultures, collective memories, myths and mentalities – the very diversity that belongs to the essence of Europe.”
Writing in Die Welt, politics correspondent Alan Posener argues, “The crisis in Europe is not only about money but also the limits of ‘ever closer union’. Jean Monnet’s model of integration by means of the supranational [European] Commission is outdated.” Posener concludes, “This is a good thing…it is time for proper democracy in Europe.”
FAZ: Kohler Welt: Poesner
The Nouvel Observateur reports that the French Constitutional Council is today due to issue its verdict over whether transposing the balanced budget rule laid down in the fiscal treaty requires changing the French constitution – contrary to what French President François Hollande has been arguing so far.
Nouvel Observateur EUobserver FTD
In his latest book, published this week, former ECB Chief Economist Otmar Issing wrote, “Everything speaks in favour of saving the euro area. How many countries will be able to be part of it in the long term remains to be seen.”
Independent EUobserver Times
French economist Charles Gave writes in Le Figaro, “We need to return to national currencies. The euro is an economic, political and human horror. Please, let’s stop this madness to save the Europe we love.”
Le Figaro: Gave
In its latest monthly bulletin published this morning, the ECB warns Italy of the “particularly pronounced” rise in the markets’ expectations of default of Italian firms, reports Il Sole 24 Ore.
Il Sole 24 Ore ECB monthly bulletin: August 2012
Fitch cut Slovenia’s credit rating by one notch from A to A- with a negative outlook yesterday, citing the “lack of a timely and credible bank recapitalisation plan” as the main reason for the downgrade, reports EUobserver.
El País reports that sources from the Spanish Economy Ministry have said that Spain will request the early disbursement of a first tranche of funds from its €100bn bank bailout loan to help Bankia “within the next few days.”
Il Sole 24 Ore Le Figaro El País Expansión
Kathimerini reports that former Cypriot central bank governor Athanasios Orphanides has accused his successor, Panicos Demetriades, of “creating the impression that our debt is unsustainable” by inflating the capital needs of Cypriot banks.
In an interview with Die Zeit, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair argues, “It is clear that irrespective of how [the eurozone crisis] develops, ultimately, a grand political restructuring of the EU will have to take place. And I am deeply concerned that Britain could – via a referendum – bid farewell to the whole process.”
Die Zeit EUobserver