European press sighs at David Cameron’s UK exit threat

In Paris, Les Echos believes that the speech outside the Bloomberg offices is a “dangerous gamble”. The economic daily does not hold back from comparing the PM to one of his predecessors.

“Like Margaret Thatcher in her time, David Cameron is not concerned with the common interest of building an economically powerful – and necessarily politically powerful – Europe. His vision is of an à la carte Europe where you can be a member without having to accept all the constraints, without having to be in the eurozone or even in the Schengen area. However, if the euro crisis and the Greek bailout have been good for anything, it has been to show the need for a tighter integration of the European countries, notably in budgetary, fiscal and financial matters. At least among the 17 countries of the eurozone. This is clearly not David Cameron’s goal.”

In Germany, Die Welt believes that “Cameron has put his finger on EU’s sore spot,” and, like the overwhelming majority of German commentators, finds the British Prime Minister’s questions quite legitimate and even “liberating”.

“Cameron is far from being alone with his analysis of the changes facing the EU and that cannot be answered with a simple ‘Keep steering straight ahead’. […] That the British Prime Minister tabled [a question regarding stabilising the eurozone by deepening EU integration] is not anti-European. It is no more anti-European of Cameron than his referring to the crisis of competitiveness afflicting the Union, which he blames partly on sclerotic management of the EU – this flood of rules and guidelines that are paralysing so many creative forces, and not just in the economy. And it’s in no way anti-European to mention the creeping democratic deficit and the lack of citizens’ confidence in the EU and its institutions. […] The UK is following a “more practical than emotional” approach, it adds. That might be good for all of us.”

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