The commentators 19-06-15
...on Greece and Europe
Angela Merkel sees herself as the guardian of European unity, the more so since François Hollande’s French government has retreated from the shared leadership role that once conjured up the metaphor of the Franco-German motor. Greece’s departure would be a historic failure; an admission of the fragility of the European enterprise and a signal to the world that the process of integrations could yet unravel. None of this means much to Anglo-Saxons of a eurosceptic bent. But the new, reunited Germany was founded on the assumption that its future was rooted in ever closer European unity.
- Philip Stephens, Financial Times
Greece's bull-in-a-china-shop approach to negotiations with the eurozone, in particular the insults hurled at Germany referring to its Second World War record, have potentially alienated one of its best friends. Germany has a greater commitment to keeping the Continent united, at a time when there is a perceived threat in the East, than many of its partners. Greece’s tactic of dragging out the negotiations for domestic political gain has been calamitous.
- Alex Brummer, Daily Mail
Almost everyone agrees that the eurozone crisis has been badly mismanaged by the EU, and there is no denying austerity has taken a huge toll on Greece. But that doesn’t cancel out the fact that the current situation in Greece is also the result of sovereign decisions taken by successive elected governments over the years. As in Russia’s case, the talk of external “diktats” only goes so far. Tsipras regularly omits to mention the tax evasion of large oligarchic structures and the Orthodox church. It’s convenient, politically, to lay all the blame on outside forces.
- Natalie Nougayrède, The Guardian
Another spectacular achievement of Waterloo, though, may have been missed : two centuries of Anglo-French peace...for better or worse, the Entente Cordiale has prevailed. This is why, on this bicentenary, we feel entitled to call on our British allies to resist the familiar temptation of splendid isolation. The country that cornered Napoleon cannot succumb to Nigel Farage. Today, we solemnly say to our friends across the Channel: beware, Brexit could be your Waterloo! And to make sure the message is really heard, we have gone as far as to convey it in English. Messieurs les Anglais, don’t let the sirens of a fake independence pull you away from the continent. Just as in 1815, your future is in Europe.
- Le Monde
Comment Awards 2015
Anyone can nominate their favourite writer
Friday 12 June, 2015 Are the comment pages and columnists too Londoncentric? And if they are, what is the solution when the financial and political powerhouses are based in the capital?
Does the character or personality of the writer matter? Should we read columnists with whom we violently disagree or is it, as Eleanor Mills suggested, good for the soul but bad for the blood pressure?
Why did the so-called political experts get it so wrong in calling the general election? And will they - and Rupert Murdoch - influence the result of the EU referendum?
All these points and more were addressed under the guidance of Dr Anthony Seldon at the launch of the 2015 Comment Awards last night. Seldon will chair the judging panel for the awards, now in their seventh year.
Nominations are now open and anyone can put forward anyone writing in the UK media - broadcasting, print or online - by submitting the URLS of three articles published between August 1, 2014 and July 31 this year, which is the closing date for entries.
The 17 awards include four new categories: Comment piece of the year for a single piece of excellent writing; Young commentariat; Society and diversity commentator; and Technology and digital commentator.
There is no charge for entries. Details and the nomination forms can be found here.
Oh yes, and who was the most frequently mentioned columnist at last night's event? Matthew Parris? Andrew Rawnsley? Stephen Glover? No. By a country mile, the most discussed writer was Katie Hopkins.
Comment archive, 2015
Scottish National Party
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