An Phoblacht/Republican News, Belfast and Dublin
MORE THAN one deadline for the formation of the Northern Ireland executive has come and gone. Now Tony Blair has set July 1 as the "absolute deadline". Can this one be met? It deserves to be, if only as a reward for the ingenuity invested by the Irish and British governments in devising the latest formula. But many of Trimble's followers disbelieve in the good faith of Sinn Fein; and many nationalist voters equally distrust all unionists. Gestures from both sides are needed to inspire mutual confidence. There could hardly be a better gesture, or a fairer wind for the executive, than a compromise on the bitter issue of Drumcree.
Irish Independent, Dublin
SOONER RATHER than later, Gerry Adams and the party will have to face the old, old question: is Sinn Fein a party like others, or does it insist on maintaining a united front with an illegal organisation? So what do we do, if Tony Blair can't work the miracle? In Europe, France and Germany didn't start off with a governmental coalition, after the war. They worked up to the present level by co-operation on iron and steel production, to create trust. Maybe there's a lesson there - but, of course, the Agreement is the shining, perhaps unattainable, ideal.
(Barry White) Belfast TelegraphReuse content