“Now that the Eurozone crisis is over, time to finish the job with the banks,” announces the front-page of NRC Handelsblad, in the wake of the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s May 11 remarks that “the ECB will examine the possibility of buying property loans from banks.” For the daily, this assertion is confirmation that in both Brussels and Frankfurt, the view is that “the worst of the Eurozone crisis has passed.”

“Now”, notes the daily, “we are beginning to see the underlying problem, which is that many banks have yet to be completely cleaned up.” Even though the Eurozone crisis resulted from the 2007 banking crisis — when states took on debts to restore liquidity and prevent the collapse of national banks — there are still too many banks with toxic assets on their books.” NRC explains that these zombie banks, have meant that the European economy is like “a fish out of water,” because they create a climate in which banks are unwilling to lend, and consumers are unwilling to spend.

In contrast to the United States and Switzerland, where measures to resolve the banking crisis proved more effective, one of the problems in the Eurozone is that banking supervisors “encounter opposition from politicians,” who, as the newspaper points out —

… do not have a mission to clean up the European economy, if that means closing their own banks. No, their mission is to keep national champions on their feet. In an landscape crowded with pan-European banks, supervisors take shelter behind national boundaries, and exchanges of information are rare, and even dishonest.

A banking union could resolve this problem, but it would require modification of European treaties, adds NRC, which alludes to a recent article by Wolfgang Schaüble in the Financial Times, in which the German Finance Minister affirmed that the ECB could not repair balance sheets, because that would amount to “monetary financing.”