Brexit: What the European papers say

Composite image shows European newspaper articles on Brexit

Economic jitters have been dominating Brexit-related coverage and comment over the past week, with European newspapers predicting trouble ahead for the City of London and the economies of both Germany and Britain.


German paper Sueddeutsche Zeitung highlights a study by the German Institute for Economic Research, according to which Germany will be hardest hit of all European economies by Brexit.

Image copyright Sueddeutsche Zeitung
Image caption Sueddeutsche Zeitung: "Brexit likely to hit Germany particularly hard"

The study says this is the result of the German economy's relative openness and dependency on trade, and predicts that the country's GDP could shrink by 0.4% as a result of the "Brexit shock".

Tough job

Image copyright Rzeczpospolita
Image caption Rzeczpospolita: "Bank of England governor Mark Carney cleans up the mess after Brexit"

In Poland's Rzecspospolita, Hubert Koziel believes Bank of England governor Mark Carney faces a daunting task in dealing with the economic fallout from Brexit.

"The head of the central bank must intervene when the politicians fail", it says, adding that while Mr Carney is "well-prepared" for the job, he faces the "toughest test of his career".

Placebo effect

Image copyright Der Standard
Image caption Der Standard: "Monetary policy after Brexit: Homeopathic pills for the economy"

In Austria, Der Standard's Andreas Sator is unconvinced by the Bank of England's attempt to shore up Britain's post-Brexit economy by dropping interest rates from 0.5% to 0.25%.

He argues that the bank is unlikely to "achieve more than a placebo effect", but it is merely making a symbolic move in the hope "no-one will find out that the homeopathic pills don't work".

Hard truths

Image copyright Le Monde
Image caption Le Monde: "After Brexit, the City wants to believe it is just a disappointment"

An article in France's Le Monde warns the City of London - which was on the whole strongly against Brexit - against consoling itself with its hopes on keeping its EU financial services passport.

The only way this could happen, London correspondent Eric Albert argues, is for Britain to accept the deal Norway has - contributing to the EU budget, acceptance of freedom of movement and the near-automatic adoption of EU directives - and adds that it is almost impossible for Theresa May to stomach this politically.

"London will inevitably lose some ground" to rival EU financial centres, he concludes.

Goods before people?

Image copyright El Pais
Image caption El Pais: "Harming people"

In Spain's El Pais, Xavier Vidal-Folch bemoans the fact that negotiations resulting from the "xenophobic operation" of Brexit may result in EU migrants in Britain - and vice versa - being used as the "bargaining chips of a bad-tempered nationalism".

"Freedom is indivisible and European freedom consists of four specific freedoms - [the free movement] of goods, services, capital and people," he argues. "Only an extremist puts the rights of goods before that of their fellow citizens."

Come together

Image copyright Il Sole 24 Ore
Image caption Il Sole 24 Ore: "If confederation beats bureaucracy"

Valerio Castronovo, of the Italian paper Il Sole 24 Ore, ponders what the European Union must do to avoid Britain's referendum result from starting a "domino effect" of populism and nationalism, and believes closer integration is the key.

"The only possible way to put the EU back on track is within the context of a strong confederation, no longer weakened by national exceptions and weighed down by a bloated and invasive bureaucratic apparatus," he says.

Too many tentacles

Image copyright Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Image caption Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "Less interference from Brussels"

But Hendrik Kafsack, the EU correspondent of German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, says the priority should be to cut the "kraken" of the European Commission down to size.

"For people on both sides of the English Channel, the European Union remains a monster of regulation," he says, and expresses exasperation at reported comments by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that his officials never find that something can be better dealt with on a national level.

The answer, Kafsack argues, is to implement one of the concessions David Cameron won as a condition for staying in the European Union: giving national parliaments the right to block the commission's initiatives.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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