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European press mulls price of 'Brexit-avoiding' deal

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image captionLe Figaro says that "The battle of the referendum on Europe has already begun"

Papers throughout Europe acknowledge that David Cameron won most of the concessions he was seeking from his European partners at the Brussels summit, but several ask if the price might not in the end prove to be too high.

The Belgian paper La Libre carries the front-page headline "EU: And in the end, it's Cameron who wins".

"Except that what is considered to be good by London is not necessarily good for Europe," the paper notes wryly.

A headline in Le Monde spells out what many in Europe warn will be the outcome of the deal.

"Brexit-avoiding deal opens the way for an 'a la carte' Europe", it says.

The paper's Brussels correspondents, Cecile Ducourtieux and Jean-Pierre Stroobants, conclude that the outcome of "a more laborious and dramatic" negotiation process than anyone had expected was in the end "a success for the British Conservative leader".

However, the writers say that Mr Cameron's gain came at the expense of European unity, and that "the divisions and lack of solidarity among the member states have never before seemed so deep".

The French paper Le Figaro says that an agreement was finally secured by means of "a war of attrition, a sleep war".

'Life-threatening crisis' averted

Germany's Die Welt notes that "The drama lasted longer than expected, but David Cameron finally got his 'deal'". The paper adds that "in the end, he got almost everything", and only had to compromise over a few details.

The German news website says that the deal for Britain has allowed the EU "to avert a life-threatening crisis".


Italy's La Repubblica notes that "David Cameron can rejoice because he takes home a 'yes' to most of the demands he made."

Another Italian paper, Il Sole 24 Ore, says that "a difficult agreement" was reached after 24 hours of "extremely tough negotiations".

A separate commentary in the paper by Marina Castellaneta warns that the concessions granted to Britain, especially those affecting the mobility of workers within Europe, "can only hinder the functioning of the Union".

One of the harshest judgements on Mr Cameron's summit deal comes from the left-of-centre Hungarian paper Nepszava, which in an article headlined "Brexit and the populists", says that "This week Cameron expected the European Council to start dismantling the already dilapidated edifice of the Union on account of his irresponsibility. And we watch all this helplessly."

New battle looms

Many papers also note that for Mr Cameron, the struggle is not yet over.

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image captionThe UK will vote on 23 June on whether to remain in the EU, David Cameron announced

"Cameron has his agreement," says the Czech news website, adding that "Now he has to persuade the British that they want to remain in the EU under the new conditions".

The Czech financial paper Hospodarske noviny says that the deal reached at the summit gives Mr Cameron a good basis on which to campaign for a Yes vote in the referendum.

"European politicians found a compromise. Cameron considers the agreement to be reason enough to keep Britain in the Union", a headline in the paper reads.

However, the Hungarian news website warns that Cameron still has to convince the Eurosceptics within his own party.

"Brexit: The eurosceptics don't like the deal", a headline on the website reads.

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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