Divisions between France and Germany over banking union and fiscal
discipline have deepened ahead of a two-day summit of EU leaders that
started yesterday, writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in a
commentary. The paper notes the contrast with previous summits, where
France and Germany routinely agreed their line beforehand.
EU leaders at their summit in Brussels last night failed to agree
anything other than the gradual launch of EU banking supervision, with
specifics left for a summit in December to decide, writes Austria's
But Germany's Süddeutsche Zeitung sees the delay in the launch of
banking supervision as a victory for Angela Merkel, Germany's
chancellor. France and other eurozone members wanted the supervision
to be launched on 1 January, which is now no longer possible. The
paper quotes Francois Hollande, France's president, as suggesting that
the delay is motivated by Germany's general election next autumn.
Antonis Samaras, Greece's prime ministers, has briefed the leaders of
the other EU member states about his government's austerity measures
at a summit in Brussels last night, writes Kathimerini. Despite the
positive reception at the summit, it is expected to take weeks before
Greece receives the next instalment of its bail-out.
The Guardian features live coverage of day two of the EU summit as leaders return to the negotiating table. According to the report, François Hollande has apparently accepted an invitation to visit Athens to see the situation in Greece for himself. The trip is not expected to be as dramatic as Angela Merkel's last week.
The Financial Times also reports on the EU summit, leading with the agreement of a timetable to set up a single eurozone-wide banking supervisor run by the European Central Bank over the course of next year. But leaders failed to agree on the second key step in the process: when the eurozone's €500bn rescue fund will be able to start injecting cash directly into failing European banks.
The European Commission will give Italy good grades for its
crisis-fighting measures, according to a draft report seen by La
Belgrade's Politika writes that Ivica Dačić, Serbia's prime minister,
will meet EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Brussels today.
Since Ashton will also meet Hashim Thaci, Kosovo's prime minister, the
paper suggests that the two leaders might hold face-to-face talks.
Yulia Tymoshenko, a jailed opposition leader in Ukraine, has called on
EU governments to stop letting Ukrainian officials travel freely in
Europe, writes the Kyiv Post.
The trial has begun in Istanbul of Fazıl Say, a well-known pianist who
is accused of insulting people's religious beliefs through a Twitter
post, writes Hürriyet Daily News.
Human rights campaigners say that some 28,000 Syrians have disappeared
during the last 19 months, writes Abu Dhabi's The National. While the
claim, based on reports from groups inside Syria, cannot be verified,
Syria's intelligence services have a long history of extrajudicial
executions and disappearances of opponents.
Rosnet, Russia's state-owned oil giant, has become the world's largest
oil company with the take-over of TNK-BP, writes Die Presse.
The Daily Telegraph reports on the sinking of the cruise liner, Costa Concordia, and the captain, Francesco Schettino's refusal to accept sole blame for the tragedy. Thirty-two people lost their lives and Capt Schettino is accused of manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship before the evacuation of more than 4,000 passengers and crew was complete. He has admitted making mistakes but says he should not be the only person blamed.
Internet giant Google has threatened no longer to link to French
publications if a tax on such links is introduced on their demand,
writes Le Figaro.