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The paper clip, 15 May

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Greek party leaders will continue their consultations on a possible government of national unity today, writes Kathimerini. Karolos Papoulias, Greece's president, yesterday proposed the option of forming a administration of “personalities” – technocrats and political figures that are broadly acceptable. Papoulias must call an election if he cannot broker a deal on forming a new government today, the Irish Times writes. The paper says that eurozone finance ministers have told Greek leaders that they expect them to meet the country's bail-out commitments.

Le Figaro details the day's events as French President François Hollande is inaugurated. Le Monde reports that Jean-Marc Ayrault will be nominated by Hollande as prime minister. This is according to Jean-Pierre Jouyet, a close Hollande ally and president of the Financial Market Authority. Libération writes about the ceremonial aspects of Hollande's new role.

Hollande faces a “baptism of fire in Berlin”, the Guardian writes. Asked by French TV if he would arrive in Berlin for talks with Angela Merkel bearing gifts, he replied: “The gift of growth, jobs, and economic activity.” Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza is among the many papers that preview the meeting between Hollande and Merkel.

George Osborne, the UK's finance minister, has accused Angela Merkel of damaging Britain's economic interests after she speculated that Greece would leave the euro. The Daily Telegraph has the story.

Eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels last night expressed their determination that Greece should remain in the single currency area, writes the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The coming nine days will be critical for the future of the eurozone, writes Italy's La Stampa, in the run-up to an emergency summit of EU leaders on 23 May.

The Financial Times writes that there are mounting fears that the eurozone's firewall will prove insufficient to shield Spain and other embattled countries against the effects of a possible disorderly Greek exit from the single currency.

Germany's GDP grew 0.5% in the first quarter of this year over the previous quarter, more than expected, writes Handelsblatt.

EU foreign ministers yesterday criticised the expansion of settlements and conditions for Palestinians in West Bank and East Jerusalem, warning that Israel is putting a two-state solution of any kind at risk. The Guardian has a report. Switzerland's Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports from yesterday's monthly meeting of EU foreign ministers and finds little progress on the main questions, from the Middle East peace process to Ukraine.

The Irish Times writes that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has warned the West that he will not allow his country to be humiliated, a comment made just after EU foreign ministers considered whether to attend next month's Euro 2012 football matches in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin may make Belarus the destination of his first trip abroad as Russia's president, the Belarusian paper Telegraf writes.

“Every citizen pays €2,849 for civil servants” is the headline that Italy's Corriere della Sera gives to its coverage of a Court of Auditors report.

The Guardian writes that the UK's Conservative-Liberal Democrat government is losing the support of British industry. The Independent predicts that a meeting today between Prime Minister David Cameron and business leaders will be tense.

Czech police have raided the home and office of a leading Social Democrat politician, David Rath, Lidové noviny reports.


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