REUTERS - Below are editorial comments from Greek newspapers on Monday following the government’s weekend deal with the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a new austerity package that frees up 110 billion euros in aid.
“Four years without a breather. The storm of measures mainly hits those working in the public sector, who are called to pay for the failure of governments to tidy up the state, to clamp down on tax evasion and waste.”
“The measures are necessary to avoid bankruptcy but they are unfair. Almost exclusively, they hurt the people who are called to pay the bill time and time again, the wage earners and pensioners.”
TA NEA (centrist)
“The big sacrifice: they cut wages and pensions for 110 billion euros.”
“The way we have learned to live, work, acquire goods and generally organise our lives here, in the southern tip of the Balkans, ceased to exist since yesterday.
“Asphyxiation for five tough years.”
“The solution of the EU/IMF ‘support mechanism’, as it was eventually shaped, is a delayed ‘violent modernisation’ of the country, its implementation has many socially harsh aspects, which we cannot avoid if we want to break up the web of interests that led us to today’s dead-end.”
“The prime minister knows well that there is no margin for error because if something like that happens, it will not be another missed opportunity but literally a national tragedy.”
KERDOS (financial daily)
“The big Odyssey begins, our last chance.
“The time to pay the bill has come, the time of responsibility for all of us tackling this crisis must become the big opportunity to modernise our public life, even if we have to bleed. It is not just a big opportunity, it is our last chance.”
“Wanted: Hope. The government admits its stability plan failed and imposes tough sacrifices on the people without presenting a plan to exit the crisis.”
“Who gave the government the mandate to humiliate every Greek?”
IMERISIA (financial daily)
“Survival with 30 billion euros’ worth of sacrifices. A historic bet for the economy and society.”
“Let’s be clear. The painful measures the government announced to avoid default are a retroactive admission of the bankruptcy of our political system, because it was this very system that brought the country to point zero.”
“Given that austerity and recession cannot be avoided, let us hope that the government will show the required will to deliver on the programme it has announced. It will be a consolation for all Greeks to restart the country, with rules for everyone. We owe it to the young, it will be a penance for the debt we will pass on to them, to those born and yet unborn.”
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS (centre-right)
“Did you learn the news, father?
“To live we must first die. The therapy proves to be more harmful than the disease. The measures of the PASOK socialist government have shocked Greek society.”
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by David Stamp)