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The paper clip, 16 May

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Greece is headed for new elections, probably on 17 June, after party leaders failed to form a government of national unity, writes Kathimerini. The Irish Times says that Greek political leaders will try to form a caretaker government that will lead the country into the second election. The UK's Guardian says there are fears that a fresh election in Greece will herald the start of the break-up of the euro.

Süddeutsche Zeitung writes in a commentary that the anti-bail-out rhetoric of Greece's far-left Syriza party will lead to disappointment not just with Greece's parties but with democracy. Karolos Papoulias, Greece's president, has warned his compatriots not to produce a run on the country's banks, writes Germany's Handelsblatt. Greeks withdrew some €700 million on Monday, the central bank chief said. The UK's Daily Telegraph says that holders of Greek debt have been warned to brace themselves for “killer losses”.

Demetris Christofias, the president of Cyprus, has announced that he will not seek a second term in office when his current term expires in February, the Cyprus Mail writes. Christofias said that the failure to strike an agreement for the island's reunification – which he blamed on Cyprus's Turks – had prompted his decision. The Cyprus Mail points to Christofias's low ratings in opinion polls as the most important factor.

Guido Westerwelle, Germany's foreign minister, has told Ahmet Davutoglu, his Turkish counterpart, not to be “emotional” about Cyprus taking over the rotating presidency of the EU's Council of Ministers on 1 July, Today's Zaman writes. The election of François Hollande as France's president has made Turkish leaders cautiously optimistic that the country's accession talks with the EU might be unfrozen.

Hollande met Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, in Berlin after his inauguration yesterday in a show of unity, writes Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Both leaders said they wanted Greece to remain in the eurozone and that they would do everything in their power to kick-start the economy in the country. A commentator in the UK's Guardian writes that for Greece – and Europe – the true calamity is to delay exiting the euro.

Hollande asked Merkel for growth options, including Eurobonds, to be discussed at next week's emergency summit of EU leaders, writes Berlin's Tagesspiegel. Le Monde writes that Hollande and Merkel are theoretically ‘in unison' on the need for Greece to adhere to its bail-out terms, they are at odds over several other issues, including Hollande's desire for Eurobonds.

Michael Spindelegger, Austria's foreign minister, has briefed counterparts from other EU member states on his plans to push for the popular election of the president of the European Commission and for more direct democracy in the EU through changes to the citizens' initiative, writes Die Presse.

The Lebanese army has separated warring factions in the northern city of Tripoli after clashes left seven people dead and around 100 wounded, the Daily Daily Star writes. The violence appears to be linked to the uprising in neighbouring Syria.

The trial of Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb wartime commander, is set to start before a UN court in The Hague today, write Switzerland's Neue Zürcher Zeitung and the Irish Times. Mladic was arrested in Serbia last year and stands accused of masterminding the genocide in Srebrenica, where some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed. Süddeutsche Zeitung interviews Serge Brammertz, the tribunal's chief prosecutor.

Tomislav Nikolic, the challenger in Serbia's presidential election, tells Danas that he will uncover the fraud committed by associates of Boris Tadic, the incumbent, in the first round if he wins the second round this Sunday.

Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's News International, has hit out the British justice system after she was charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice over allegations that she concealed “material, documents and computers” from detectives investigating phone hacking at the News of the World. Brooks has dismissed the case against her as an “expensive sideshow and waste of public money”. The Guardian has the story.

The Czech daily Lidové noviny writes that police yesterday found 30 million koruna (€1.17 million) in cash stowed away in the home of a leading member of the Social Democrats, David Rath.

Slovakia's Pravda writes that extremism in Slovakia is growing and the far-right's methods are increasingly sophisticated.

The date of a court hearing for former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko's appeal against her imprisonment has been pushed back to 26 June, Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza writes.

Le Figaro reports that former French justice minister and former MEP Rachida Dati will not challenge François Fillon in the legislative elections in Paris as predicted.

Libération reports that Socialist senator François Rebsamen will not become France's minister of the interior.

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