The following are the top stories in the Maltese and overseas press:
The Times quotes the prime minister saying there will be no compromises on taxation policy.
The Malta Independent says EU-phoria has been tempered by some considerations.
l-orizzont says the appointment of Ian Stafrace at Mepa CEO has been censured by the Mepa audit officer.
In-Nazzjon reports that the EU summit gave a positive direction for greater competitiveness.
The overseas press
The lower house of the German parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the European Union's €120-billion growth pact and European Stability Mechanism (ESM). Deutsche Welle reports German Chancellor Angela Merkel rushed back to Berlin following EU summit in Brussels in order to address the legislative body before it closed for its summer recess. She encouraged lawmakers to approve Europe's fiscal pact on budget discipline, as well as a permanent €500-billion bailout fund, the ESM.
The Wall Street Journal says the deal hammered out by eurozone leaders at the summit in the early hours of Friday, which forced Germany into concessions it had so far resisted, powered financial markets higher on tentative hopes that the eurozone's debt and banking crises could be reaching an inflection point. Leaders in Brussels took a significant step toward closer integration of the currency bloc, deciding that a single supervisor should oversee banks in the 17 nations that use the currency. The role was likely to be handed to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. The leaders also agreed to some nearer-term measures designed to help Spain and Italy, whose rising borrowing costs have heightened the sense of crisis around the survival of the single currency.
Al Ahram reports Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian president-elect, took a symbolic oath of office during a rousing speech in Cairo, promising dignity and social justice to a crowd of tens of thousands gathered in Tahrir Square. He swore to uphold the constitution and "the republican system", reciting the words of an oath which he will formally take this morning in front of the supreme constitutional court. He also issued several challenges to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Egypt's military rulers. He declared there was no power above people power, telling the crowd that they were now the source of sovereignty and authority in Egypt.
As international talks on Syria open in Geneva later today, Pravda reports Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said there was a good chance of finding common ground. But he warned against trying to impose the outcome of any political transition there in advance. The US State Department played down chances of a deal at the talks. Today's conference was called by the UN and Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan, as the violence intensified in Syria. Lavrov and Hilary Clinton met in St Petersburg in an effort to agree a consensus formula to end the bloodshed.
The Palestinians have their first site in the list of World Heritage. The Committee for the UNESCO World Heritage has voted in favour of including the Church of the Nativity and the route of the pilgrims in the city of Bethlehem on the list. St Petersburg Times says the vote was 13 in favour, six against and two abstentions. The church’s inclusion in the UNESCO list could unleash a new wave of controversy that followed the formal recognition last October of Palestine by a UN agency, which aroused the indignation of the United States and Israel. On that occasion, the two states also suspended their funding to UNESCO, depriving it of 22 per cent of its revenue.
Associated Press quotes the US Justice Department declaring that Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to withhold information about a bungled gun-tracking operation from Congress did not constitute a crime and he would not be prosecuted for contempt of Congress. The House voted on Thursday to find Holder in criminal and civil contempt for refusing to turn over the documents.
People magazine reports Katie Holmes has filed for divorce from Tom Cruise after six years of marriage. Holmes, 33, who rose to fame after starring as Joey Potter in the teen television series Dawson's Creek, tied the knot with 49-year-old Cruise in an elaborate ceremony in Italy in 2006 after a whirlwind romance. The couple have a six-year-old daughter named Suri who, according to Holmes' lawyer Jonathan Wolfe remains Katie's "primary concern".
According to Le Parisien, the former head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has separated from his wife Anne Sinclair. The separation after 20 years of marriage took place a month ago and the two now live apart in Paris. Anne Sinclair, a wealthy heiress who runs the French edition of the Huffington Post, had stayed with her husband following his arrest in New York, in May 2011, after a hotel maid had accused him of sexual violence.
France’s Closer magazine reveals former French First Lady Carla Bruni is expecting her third child – the 44-year-old’s second with husband Nicolas Sarkozy, 56. The revelation comes after suggestions that Miss Bruni had “fallen into depression” since her husband’s election defeat. Friends told another French magazine, VSD, she was suffering the “presidential blues”. Closer said doctors were urging the former supermodel to have “total rest”.
ABC reports the US anti-doping agency is filing formal charges against the champion cyclist Lars Armstrong, who won the Tour de France seven times. If the charges are proven, he would lose his titles. Armstrong called the allegations against him "baseless" and said the case only recycles "discredited" allegations from the past.
Controversy in Italy the day after its national football team beat Germany with two Mario Balotelli goals to reach tomorrow’s Euro 2012 final against Spain. Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport has defended its decision to print a headline featuring a pun on Balotelli's skin colour after it came under fire from an anti-racism group. Over a photo of Balotelli celebrating his second goal on Thursday night, the Turin daily ran the headline "Li Abbiamo Fatti Neri", which literally means "We have made them black". The phrase used is a slang expression meaning to bruise, literally to make someone black and blue. Gianni De Pace, the assistant editor, said it also referred to Balotelli's skin colour, but defended the headline. "It was a reference to him being black, but it is just a pun," he said. "It was also because when he took his shirt off he looked like a boxer who bruises opponents. No one in Italy would have seen this as racist.”