The Guy YOU Love To Hate

I pour moi think he’s the greatest. Weiter so (keep it up), Wolfgang!

Schäuble

Despite bitter opposition in many quarters to the austerity-first policies Germany has imposed on Europe’s poorer nations, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has hung on to its role as champion of integration on the Continent through deft use of diplomacy and the country’s economic clout.

But in negotiating a new deal this week to bail out Greece, Germany displayed what many Europeans saw as a harder, more selfish edge, demanding painful measures from Athens and resisting any firm commitment to granting Greece relief from its crippling debt. And that perception was fueled on Thursday when the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, suggested that Greece would get its best shot at a substantial cut in its debt only if it was willing to give up membership in the European common currency (they mean Grexit here, of course, they just don’t like to use the word).

“Ich werbe nur dafür, dass Sie heute nicht meinen – jetzt ist das Thema erledigt, jetzt haben wir noch mal einen da zum Bösewicht erklärt. Ich bin so abgehärtet in einem langen politischen Leben, dass mich das nicht aus der Bahn wirft.”

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Little Oskar Thinking Out Of The Box Again

Well known for his refreshing viewpoints, Mr. ex-SPD, ex-Left, ex-Bolshevist, ex-you-name-it Oskar Lafontaine himself has come up with a brilliant new idea to save Greece from its upcoming euro Grexit exit: Get rid of the euro first.

Oskar

Being the true radical thinker that he is, he seems to have devised a radical new European economic system by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without having to use a medium of exchange like dirty, filthy, old (or in his case new) money. And the way things look right now, Greece will be the first country to get the chance to test this out in a big way.

“Der Euro ist ein Rückschritt im historischen Projekt der europäischen Integration. Der Euro ist schon gescheitert, wir dürfen uns da keinen Illusionen hingeben.”

German Of The Day: Hand Over The Money Or I’ll Shoot!

Greece

And here you thought that Germans didn’t have a sense of humor. Galgenhumor (gallows humor), OK, but humor all the same.

Public broadcaster ARD, in its Morgenmagazin breakfast show, lampooned the tit-for-tat battle that has ensued between German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis, 54, in a video clip based on the 2011 French film The Intouchables, depicting the unlikely friendship between a wealthy quadriplegic and his African carer. Schaeuble, 72, has been confined to a wheelchair since he was shot by a deranged man in 1990.

Grexit: Bad Attitude In A Can

German entrepreneur Uwe Dahlhoff has trademarked the term “Grexit” — used to refer to the possible Greek exit from the eurozone — and plans to use it to market a new vodka drink.

Grexit

The drink itself is sour — vodka mixed with lemons.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

Welcome To The Hotel Kalimera

You can checkout any time you like. But you can never leave.

Tourists

Are German tourists still welcome in crisis-battered Greece? “Definitely!” insists the travel board of Europe’s top economy, which nevertheless issued a few words of caution Thursday.

Protracted talks on Greece’s debt crisis may have driven up tensions with Europe’s paymaster Germany but visitors can still count on a warm reception, the German Travel Association (DRV) said.

But what if Greece should default on its loans, exit the eurozone and reintroduce the drachma? Fear not, the DRV said. “There would only be a limited impact on holidaymakers, particularly those on package tours. Flights, hotel stays and bus transfers are bought and covered by contracts.”

Gimme A G! Gimme An R!

As time ticks down for a deal, Athens and the lenders remain at odds over how far Greece is willing to bend to meet demands for austerity in exchange for funds desperately needed to avoid a default. The dispute is likely to come to a head by a European summit on June 25, or possibly earlier, at which either Mr. Tsipras or German Chancellor Angela Merkel may have to back down.

GREXIT

In a speech to Syriza party lawmakers, Mr. Tsipras said that Greece cannot accept deeper austerity demands from its international creditors—other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund, accusing them of trying to humiliate the country and the IMF of having “criminal responsibility” for the country’s current economic woes.

Mutti Looks Mad

Some say it has something to do with Greece or something.

Mad

A small majority of Germans now want Greece out of the single currency, while an overwhelming majority believe that Europe shouldn’t offer Athens any new concessions to keep it in the bloc, according to a new poll from the German broadcaster ZDF.

Euroländer bereiten sich auf Griechenland-Pleite vor

Greece Worried Eurozone Could Collapse

And Greece is willing to help.

Tsipras

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has just pointed out to Merkel, Hollande & Co. that his country, accounting for a whopping 2% of the eurozone’s economy, is now finally ready to lend officials in Brussels all the money they will need in the turbulent times to come. Provided, of course, that they hand it all over to Greece first (along with a couple zillion euros on top for administrative fees).

Let’s get this over with, people.

„Es wäre der Anfang vom Ende der Eurozone.“ Tsipras warnte, dass die Kosten für die europäischen Steuerzahler enorm seien.

 

Plan B For Bankrupt

Tick tock tick tock

Plan B

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble hinted on Saturday that Berlin was preparing for a possible Greek default, drawing a parallel with the secrecy of German reunification plans in 1989.

“You shouldn’t ask responsible politicians about alternatives,” Schaeuble answered, adding one only need to use one’s imagination to envisage what could happen.

He indicated that if he were to answer in the affirmative that ministers were working on a Plan B — what to do when Greece runs out of money and cannot pay back its debt — he could trigger panic.

“Da ist überhaupt nichts dran. Der Plan B wurde nicht diskutiert.”