As the Euro starts tanking and investors sell bonds from Europe’s most indebted nations, looks like Germany might be willing to speed up its efforts to help overcome the Greek fiscal crisis which now seems to include Spain’s downgrade by Standard & Poor’s. Yup, my prediction is that things will be sped up and settled in less than two weeks time, right after the regional elections in North Rhine-Westphalia on May 9.
“We’re right to tell the Greeks: you have to save money, you have to be candid and you have to work on your honesty, otherwise we can’t help you,” Merkel said.
Merkel simply reacted to anti-Greek prejudices apparently shared by great numbers in Germany these days, strongly supported by Germany’s biggest tabloid, Bild. “You Greeks are getting nothing from us,” headlines say. When young policymakers of Merkel’s Christian Democrat and Liberal coalition in a newspaper article asked Greece to sell a few of their islands to solve the problem, it was only the beginning of a series of rather unhelpful proposals.
Such reactions to the crisis are worrying. According to their rhetoric, German politicians don’t seem to realise what’s at stake. With Greece shattered and Portugal and Spain at risk, they still imply that, in order to tackle the crisis, the lazy Greeks simply had to bite the bullet.
This might help to win a regional election. It just might not be enough to prevent the break-up of the European currency.