For El Mundo, the bilateral agreement obtained by Finland from Greece for additional collateral to guarantee the reimbursement of sums loaned as part of the second European bailout amounts to “a selfish attack on the unity of the eurozone.” Only a week after Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel announced measures to combat the debt crisis, Finland has already “voided any progress” towards a common fiscal policy. The Madrid daily also notes that the agreement between Helsinki and Athens could be widely imitated: as it stands other states including Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia are eager to follow Finland’s example, “highlighting divisions in the euro countries and sounding the alarm for financial markets.” As well as “irritating” the German Chancellor, who has criticised “individual shortcut solutions to a collective problem,” these initiatives “threaten to undermine the strength of community institutions,” remarks El Mundo.
The Eurozone debt crisis began like a “Greek tragedy,” but “given the many twists and turns in the plot thus far and the awkwardness of the protagonists, it now seems more like a comedy,” points out rival newspaper La Vanguardia. “It is not easy to understand why the Greek government opened this Pandora’s box: perhaps it was a hasty decision prompted by a desire to circumvent the rejection of the Greek bailout by the Finnish public,” the Barcelona daily remarks.
Hostility to the bailout is also prevalent in the Netherlands, where Trouw explains that the Greek guarantee “continues to be a political headache.” In a bid to calm parliament, the Dutch Minister of Finance has pointed out that “as it stands there is no legally binding agreement” between Finland and Greece. According to Trouw, “the Dutch government remains opposed to collateral agreements,” but has pledged that if such agreements are in fact implemented, “lthe Netherlands will also seek supplementary guarantees”.