* Germans bristle at digging much deeper for Greece
* EU crisis management seen to be in tatters
* Angry Greeks see EU making them "little whore of Europe"
By Mark Heinrich
LONDON, June 20 European media condemned the
EU's 'shambolic' Greek crisis management and fretted the bloc
was pouring money down an endless drain by giving aid to
discredited political leaders in Athens.
Some commentators said on Monday a swelling popular backlash
in Greece against yet harsher frugality was driving the country
towards the disastrous default a rescue is supposed to prevent.
Austrian mass-circulation tabloid Oesterreich, expressing
rising taxpayer resentment around the EU, called for an EU-wide
plebiscite "to let those who have to pay for Greece decide"
whether to rescue it again or preserve "a euro without Greece".
Euro zone finance ministers on Sunday postponed a final
decision on extending 12 billion euros ($17 billion) in
emergency loans to Greece, saying the Greek parliament first had
to enact laws on fiscal reforms and selling off state assets.
A vote is expected by the end of June but Greece's political
elite is under widening, intensifying popular pressure to dilute
if not postpone the next round of financial shock therapy sought
by markets to curb systemic Greek profligacy and corruption.
"It is a win that all 17 (Euro zone) states have said for
the first time the private sector must be involved and that (the
contribution) should be substantial," Dutch finance minister Jan
Kees de Jager told Dutch radio.
"But there's still a long way to go," de Jager said. "Will
Greece be able to get all the painful measures passed through
the parliament in coming days? Without that, we will not be
involved. It is important that pressure is kept on Greece."
But some analysts said escalating the aid may ultimately be
for nought since Greece's leaders had lost public respect and
its economy was unlikely to grow and regain competitiveness
without exiting the monetary straitjacket imposed by the euro.
"(The Greek protest) movement is different from previous
forms of collective action. It shows a deep crisis of legitimacy
not just for the party in power but of a political system and
state as such," the French centre-left daily Liberation said in
an editorial written by Greek analyst Stathis Kouvelakis.
ANGRY GREEKS SEE "AUSTERITY CLAMP"
Ta Nea, a centre-left, pro-government Greek daily, welcomed
what it said were signs from recent Greek negotiations with EU
creditors that it would be able to spare the financially
neediest Greeks from the next "austerity clamp".
"Our lenders and partners do not wish to see the Greek
economy collapsing. In this context the government can argue
that to achieve targets Greek society must not be exhausted."
But centre-left newspaper Ethnos said Prime Minister George
Papandreou's Socialist government was caught "in an iron social
and political vise" by popular resistance to more sacrifice.
"The stance of society (veers between) negative to massively
angry. All parties are refusing to work with the government and
are asking for elections," Ethnos warned.
The Eleftherotypia daily vented the view of many ordinary
Greeks, blaming the EU and other outsiders for their crisis.
"Led by Germany the EU, instead of showing solidarity and
trying to solve the problem as a family matter in the Union,
confronted Greece. It imposed punishing rules... instead of
providing help," Eleftherotypia said. "Today Greece is at risk
of becoming Europe's little whore."
Underlining the peril to some EU coalition governments
inherent in showering more money on Greece, the leader of the
Dutch rightist Freedom Party that props up the minority
government said it opposed more largesse for Greeks.
"Greece should leave the euro zone and reintroduce the
drachma (pre-euro currency). No more Dutch tax money to the
corrupt and de facto bankrupt Greek," Geert Wilders said.
He said that if the Dutch government joined a new bailout
for Greece, then it "will have a major and very serious
political problem with my party".
In Germany, Europe's most widely read and influential
newspaper, Bild said financially squeezed taxpayers were
bristling at conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel's readiness
to cough up more relief for Greece rather than her own people.
"Will the Greek crisis ruin all hopes for tax cuts in
Germany? In Germany more and more citizens are asking themselves
-- there is money for the Greeks but when will there be some for
me, the simple taxpayer?" Bild said.
The conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine said Merkel
was working feverishly to come up with a permanent EU financial
stability regime "but is giving out the impression of a fire
marshal in perpetual stress: several fires, few pails, no plan".
"The German government calls this 'crisis politics' ...
But the citizen does not understand where this is going... this
yo-yo-ing is difficult to explain to the voter," the German
financial daily Handelsblatt said in an editorial.
"Political pressure on Merkel from the conservatives and her
coalition is rising immensely," it said.
The liberal Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung said Germans
are "warily asking whether it can be right to tie up one package
after another for a country being governed by corrupt elites.
"Should Greece not leave the EU, or reapply? ... For a long
time the Greek crisis has not been (so much) about money but
about the biggest asset the EU has -- its credibility. Its
disastrous crisis management is making citizens, allies and
financial markets nervous," the Sueddeutsche said.
Austria's Oesterreich said zigzagging over Greek aid pointed
to a lack of a strategy allowing "shameless financial markets
(to) blackmail apparently helpless politicians", and it called
for an EU-wide referendum.
"EU citizens should decide if they want to give Greece 120
billion euros to rescue the euro. Or if they want a euro without
Greece. Inform voters finally and let those that have to pay for
Greece decide," Oesterreich said.
(Additional reporting by Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Athens
and Vienna bureaux; editing by Janet McBride)