Cyprus' President Christofias at the EU summit. The crisis country assumed the EU Council presidency on July 1. (© AP/dapd)
Europe's crisis countries are optimistic after the EU summit in Brussels. Spain hopes for a retroactive bailout for its banks, while Italy can expect less stringent terms should it seek help from the bailout mechanism. Even Chancellor Angela Merkel returned strengthened from Brussels, commentators write, lamenting that the summit perpetuates the policy of small steps.