Greece is the Jeremy Hunt of Europe, shielding other players
Opinion digest: Europe's economic crisis rolls on, Rio Earth Summit 2012 and tennis tantrums
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GREECE IS THE JEREMY HUNT OF EUROPE
STEVE RICHARDS ON THE EURO CRISIS
The euro has survived another night, says Steve Richards in The Independent. "The speculation that Greece would leave the single currency if the election result had been different was misplaced." All the potential winners wanted to keep Greece in the euro, even if their policies challenged some of the bailout criteria. Even Germany is flexible, because the stakes are so high. A Greek withdrawal would not be cathartic, prompting Germany or the European Central Bank to invest in massive protective barriers for Italy, Portugal and Spain. It would set a precedent for others to follow in panic-stricken chaos. In some ways, "Greece is the Jeremy Hunt of the single currency, remaining in place to protect other more important players." The euro crisis will continue. It is all a complete mess, but it seems the best solution is for the euro to continue in its present form and for Europe to keep muddling through. Preferable, at least, "to the apocalyptic alternative".
RIO 2012 IS A BANQUET OF BILLIONAIRES EMMISSARIES
GEORGE MONBIOT ON THE EARTH SUMMIT
This weeks' Rio summit is a ghost of the hopeful meeting 20 years ago, says George Monbiot in The Guardian. At that summit in 1992, leaders told us that many of the world's environmental problems would be solved by now. But all they have produced is more meetings, which "will continue until the delegates, surrounded by rising waters, have eaten the last rare dove" with an olive leaf roulade. These summits have failed for the same reason that the banks have failed. "Political systems that were supposed to represent everyone now return governments of millionaires, financed by and acting on behalf of billionaires." The environmental crisis cannot be addressed by the emissaries of billionaires at banquets. "It is the system that needs to be challenged, not the individual decisions it makes." And for this to happen, there needs to be a mass movement, not just hope.
TANTRUMS ARE THE KEY TO TENNIS SUCCESS
SIMON BRIGGS ON TENNIS ETTIQUETTE
Locker-room insiders were as shocked as the line judge at David Nalbandian's outburst at the Aegon Tennis Championship, says Simon Briggs in The Daily Telegraph. Many Tennis officials have spent the past 25 years trying to stamp out tantrums of the sort made famous by John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. "Like Victorian children, modern players are supposed to be seen and not heard" – except for the grunting. But the highly charged generation of the Seventies and Eighties is what took tennis from suburban gardens to big business. Tennis owes McEnroe and Connors a huge debt for transforming the sport from pleasant afternoon pastime, to war with fuzzy yellow ammunition. "Today's professionalism may improve the quality of the ball-striking, but it also brings homogeneity in its wake." While we cannot condone Nalbandian kicking an official, "there is still something refreshing in seeing some unexpurgated emotion back on a tennis court".