The commentators 23-06-15
It has been impossible to watch the march of the euro since its introduction in 1999 without awed disbelief that so many politicians and bankers with more degrees and diplomas than any Mastermind winner could have made such colossal misjudgments, which have continued this week at the Eurogroup emergency summit in Brussels. It was ridiculous to create a common currency in the absence of a common system of government. It was madness to join together a clutch of northern nations that pay taxes, respect agreements and are reasonably uncorrupt with such countries as Italy, Spain and, above all, Greece, where honest men inspire derision.
- Max Hastings, Daily Mail
As EU leaders head into this week’s emergency talks, they face a choice of three hazardous routes out of the Greek crisis. Route one involves making concessions to Greece. Route two involves standing firm and allowing Greece to leave the euro. Route three involves Athens largely accepting the demands of its creditors. The choice seems stark. But the truth is that all three routes may ultimately lead to the same destination: the destruction of the European single currency.
- Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
Greece knows that even if it defaults on the Fund it still has a chance of borrowing from other euro members or, at the extreme, from Russia, or the new Chinese contender to the World Bank. That helps explain why Ms Lagarde is panicking. Greece owes it €1.5 billion at the end of this month, and it is the Fund, not Greece, which has more to lose. Think of the IMF as the Lib Dems of international economics. They sacrificed their mission and base for the greater good in 2010, a decision which is coming back to haunt them.
- Ed Conway, The Times
Athens is merely the worst outbreak of a much bigger disease within the euro project. Because the single currency isn’t working for ordinary Europeans, from the Ruhr valley to Rome.
- Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian
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
The Greek crisis is as much to do with accountability, democracy and responsibility as it is about economics. In January, Greece elected a government “opposed to austerity”. The new Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, had a theoretical mandate to renegotiate the package imposed on his country by leaders in Berlin and Brussels. But as the new Prime Minister he continued to need their financial support. So to whom is he accountable? The voters who propelled him to a historic victory or Angela Merkel and the ECB?
- Steve Richards, Independent
Scottish National Party
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