The commentators 27-01-15
An explicit Greek debt write-off would cause more problems in Europe than it solved. Three main negative effects could be expected. First, it would cause a political backlash in northern Europe, which would strengthen far-right and nationalist parties. Second, far-left and anti-capitalist parties would gain credibility in southern Europe and would press for similar debt writedowns, as well as much expanded social spending — something that would lead to a collapse in market confidence. Third, the breakdown in trust between members of the EU that would follow a Greek default — even a negotiated default — would make it much harder to keep the EU together.
- Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
Northern Europeans will struggle with the idea that they should forgive debts to a country that refuses to be bound by the usual conditions of credit provision. Unlike the US, Europe is not a single nation, however much the single currency conspires to make it thus. Mr Tsipras is a skilful and obviously inspiring politician, but even he cannot magic away the basic contradictions that lie at the heart of Europe’s disastrous experiment in monetary union.
- Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
Europe can afford to keep bailing out a tiny economy like Greece’s. It is peanuts, or rather olives. The more serious downside is the bad example. France, Italy et al can now invoke this new Greek revolt and warn Berlin: “You see what you reaped with your Teutonic insistence on austerity and market reforms? You lost the reasonable Conservatives under Antonis Samaras and brought to power those wild-eyed populists of the far right and left. Relent, or you will get their anti-European soulmates in France and Italy – Marine Le Pen and Beppo Grillo.”
- Josef Joffe, The Guardian
The eurozone has overcome its taboos over bailouts, private debt restructuring and banking union. Just as Syriza needs to overcome Greece’s reluctance on deep structural reform, Europe needs to overcome its taboos on debt relief.
- Reza Moghadam, Financial Times
Rosie in her bra and suspenders on Monday was the support act, sent on to test the audience. We may have to wait for the headliners - but not for long.
The Sun now has the results of its free market research. We can be pretty sure that bare boobs will vanish from page three, but they will do so without the paper appearing to have surrendered to a "spoilsport" campaign.
In the meantime, the Sun has had a bit of fun. And that's what it's best at.
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