Hard choices have yet to be faced on Greece
Published 12/08/2015 | 02:30
All that was missing from the declaration of "peace in our time" regarding a "settlement" on the Greek economy was the little man in the bowler hat, waving the white piece of paper.
Would that it were true. But the claims that this is an enduring agreement capable of securing economic stability are not quite convincing.
More likely, the EU has put a smokescreen in place and the fundamental fault lines that still bedevil the eurozone remain. The targets that come with the €86n bailout have been branded as "fantasy" and "utterly unachievable" by economists.
The framework seems to have been hewn from the same planks that have failed spectacularly over the course of the past five years.
Costas Lapavitsas, a Syriza MP and professor of economics, was predictably unimpressed, saying the EU deal "bypassed democratic procedure".
He would say that, but he may have a point. Large dollops of austerity on top of an economy that is already contracting seem a strange way to improve the lives of a people already battling to make ends meet.
That the Greeks have been delinquent in the handling of their affairs, and that Syriza has been inept, goes much without saying. The European Central Bank, the EU Commission and the IMF are all smugly satisfied that they have done a good day's work.
But it is hard not to have some sympathy for the ordinary citizens of Greece. The deal is critically short on imagination and devoid of empathy. Many will argue that the lenders have had their way exclusively once more.
The sirens may be stilled for now, but few doubt that the next emergency is far away. Debt relief may have been kept off the agenda but sooner or later the hard choices will have to be shared. If the EU is to have a meaningful future, then it must foster a more inclusive vision and inform its thinking beyond the scope of bankers and bureaucrats.
Karen's murder showed true faces of good and evil
The killing of Karen Buckley exposes the faces of good and evil. Yesterday, her father John, though stricken with grief, found remarkable strength and eloquence to pay tribute to his daughter, who will be "forever carried in the broken heart" of his family.
In an impossible position, he recalled her short, luminous life and its inexplicably brutal ending, before the media.
With every reason to despair, he still had the grace to thank the police for all they had done to bring Alexander Pacteau to justice.
He understandably hoped Pacteau would "spend the rest of his life behind bars".
Everything about the murderer's behaviour was depraved and cruel. Having mercilessly taken the life of a defenceless woman, he then sought to protect himself, sinking to sickening levels of deceit and barbarism.
As Mr Buckley said, it was every parent's worst nightmare.
He felt there were no words to describe their ordeal. Nor could there be - and yet his courage and dignity was an obvious expression of pure love for Karen.