When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Tschüss Papandreou! As New Greek Government Arrives, A German Call For Austerity

Analysis: after a turbulent weekend in Athens, all eyes turn to the new Greek government of national unity, charged with the Herculean task of fixing the country's finances and maintaining social order.

Exit Papandreou, shown last year with German Chancellor Merkel
Exit Papandreou, shown last year with German Chancellor Merkel
Kai Strittmatter

MUNICH - After days of chaos, Greece's government and opposition have agreed on a joint alliance that does not include Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou. The new transitional government's most urgent task is the implementation of the austerity measures imposed by Brussels.

The news was announced Sunday evening by the office of Greek President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, who had brokered the agreement between Papandreou and the conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras. After addressing the immediate task of implementing the bailout plan, the transitional government will call an election. It is due to announce the composition of the cabinet and the name of the new prime minister today.

On Sunday, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn called for Greece to form a national unity government quickly, saying that that would be a way for Athens to "restore the confidence" of its euro-zone partners. He went on to say that, since the Greek state only has enough money to last through early December, it was essential that its current Parliament endorse the new bailout plan and implementation measures so Greece can receive the next loan installment.

Monday's meeting of 17 finance ministers of the euro group will address the payout of the tranche, said Rehn, adding that he was expecting to receive from Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos a convincing report about further steps being taken by Athens.

Mutiny from his allies

Even after Papandreou had won a confidence vote in Parliament on Friday, it was clear that the number of those lined up against him even within his own socialist party, Pasok, was too great for him to stay on as prime minister. Many had asked him prior to the vote to assure them that if they voted yes he would relinquish his post.

The composition of the transitional government and just when new elections should be held are two thorny problems between Mr. Papandreou's party Pasok and the opposition Nea Dimokratia (ND). ND boss Samaras had called for elections within six weeks, Mr. Papandreou however spoke of elections being held in February or March. President Papoulias will invite smaller opposition parties to join the conversation Monday.

ND chair Samaras had originally refused all calls for a national unity government and sharply criticized some of the key details in the bailout packages the Pasok party negotiated with the EU and the International Monetary Fund. Polls show that the ND party is ahead of the Pasok.

Samaras eventually changed his tune, telling the Greek people and Europe that: "We accept the decision to write down part of the debt. We accept the austerity goals. We also accept the structural reforms that have been agreed on. Exactly the way the present prime minister of Portugal did when he was still in the opposition before new elections were held." Samaras had been sharply criticized by European politicians because, unlike the opposition in Portugal and Ireland, he had refused the idea of a unity government. Now, the political dynamic in Greece has changed – even if the finances have not.

Read the original article in German

photo - Greek Prime Minister's office

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

A Profound And Simple Reason That Negotiations Are Not An Option For Ukraine

The escalation of war in the Middle East and the stagnation of the Ukrainian counteroffensive have left many leaders in the West, who once supported Ukraine unequivocally, to look toward ceasefire talks with Russia. For Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, Piotr Andrusieczko argues that Ukraine simply cannot afford this.

Photo of Ukrainian soldiers in winter gear, marching behind a tank in a snowy landscape

Ukrainian soldiers ploughing through the snow on the frontlines

Volodymyr Zelensky's official Facebook account
Piotr Andrusieczko


KYIVUkraine is fighting for its very existence, and the war will not end soon. What should be done in the face of this reality? How can Kyiv regain its advantage on the front lines?

It's hard to deny that pessimism has been spreading among supporters of the Ukrainian cause, with some even predicting ultimate defeat for Kyiv. It's difficult to agree with this, considering how this war began and what was at stake. Yes, Ukraine has not won yet, but Ukrainians have no choice for now but to continue fighting.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

These assessments are the result of statements by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, and an interview with him in the British weekly The Economist, where the General analyzes the causes of failures on the front, notes the transition of the war to the positional phase, and, critically, evaluates the prospects and possibilities of breaking the deadlock.

Earlier, an article appeared in the American weekly TIME analyzing the challenges facing President Volodymyr Zelensky. His responses indicate that he is disappointed with the attitude of Western partners, and at the same time remains so determined that, somewhat lying to himself, he unequivocally believes in victory.

Combined, these two publications sparked discussions about the future course of the conflict and whether Ukraine can win at all.

Some people outright predict that what has been known from the beginning will happen: Russia will ultimately win, and Ukraine has already failed.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest