Friday, July 10, 2015

Angela Merkel faces a ‘lose-lose’ choice on Greece

by Stefan Wagstyl

Financial Times

July 10, 2015

In five years of managing the Greek crisis, German chancellor Angela Merkel has maintained and even enhanced her reputation as Europe’s most successful political leader — both at home and around the world.

Not any more. As EU leaders this weekend make a last-ditch effort to keep Greece in the eurozone, the cautious 60-year-old chancellor faces what one of her MPs calls “a lose-lose situation”.

She must decide whether to back a new loan programme and keep a troubled country in the common currency — or save the money and face the unpredictable consequences of Grexit and the ignominy of a first-ever reversal in the long history of EU integration.

For the chancellor, a rescue risks widespread complaints from German taxpayers, who have already borne the brunt of two Greek bailouts. It could also provoke a large revolt in her conservative CDU/CSU bloc where MPs are fuming not only at the demands by Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras but also his seeming contempt for the country’s creditors.


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