April 30, 2010 / 8:57 AM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX-German commentaries on Greek debt crisis

BERLIN, April 30 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has pledged to contribute to an aid package to Greece as soon as it agrees new austerity measures with the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF). [nLDE6351JT]

Following are extracts from Friday editorials and articles in influential German newspapers on Greece and the euro zone crisis:

BILD (Centre-right, mass-circulation)

“We’ve just put the economic crisis behind us — into which the greedy bankers and speculators plunged us. Our political leaders promised that would never happen again ... What a joke! First the banks nearly ruined the global economy and then they begged for billions in support ... And now? The gamblers are at it again and once again we’re the ones who will have to jump in for another rescue. The German government should at least be honest with us: They should tell us: ‘We don’t see any alternative to helping Greece with billions but the money is gone!’”

SUEDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG (Centre-left)

“The euro, the backbone of the EU, can be broken very quickly if the political will to stand tall is lacking. Now, because market forces are stronger than the political will, Europe’s deficit has been exposed: The community is unable to give the euro the political strength it needs. The backbone lacks muscles. To address this, it won’t be sufficient to monitor the euro rules more rigorously or strengthen budget controls. The common currency demands too much in the way of common policy: on industry, on investment, on taxation and budget planning.

“European countries, particularly Germany and France, will have to significantly strengthen their policy coordination if they want to avoid losing their currency and their community.”

HANDELSBLATT (financial)

“The European currency union has been hit by its worst fears: unsound fiscal policies from its members, bad decisions on the membership of individual states, a reluctance of deficit countries to adapt and the inability of monetary policy to sanction. This has sent the euro zone into precisely the tailspin that critics in the 90s warned about: Contracts and commitments are no substitute for political union.”

Compiled by Noah Barkin and Erik Kirschbaum

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