Germany and Greece Divide Widens in Euro Crisis

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras (flickr/EPP)

Greece now has a coalition government and a new prime minister. Antonis Samaras's task is to get his country's economy restarted, with help from other members of the European Union.

One nation, more than any other in the euro zone, is making that task a very, very difficult one. Germany continues to hold a hard line on giving economic assistance to other euro nations with large debts. France used to be in Germany's corner on this issue, but that changed with the election of Francoise Hollande.

So why does Germany continue to dig in its heels? New York Times business columnist James B. Stewart has found a few reasons, and he says that, from Germany's point of view, they're very good ones.

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Comments [4]

del_corchia from Jersey City

It is rather simple: Greece has built an unsustainable welfare state paid for by the taxpayers from the northern countries of the EU. Perhaps the fault lies primarily with the Greek political class which has created this monster for its own convenience, however, it seems that by now the whole society got addicted to living beyond its true means. Is it reasonable to expect the German worker to work harder and retire later, so that the Greek worker can retire earlier and enjoy an inflated quality of life? Apparently the German voter does not think so anymore.

Jun. 22 2012 07:18 PM
TK

I understand why the Germans are taking a hard line. Nations must understand that there are consequences for living beyond one's means and that the German people are not ATM's. As an American of Greek decent, I have been nothing but embarrassed at the behavior of Greece. Profligate spending, endemic tax evasion, cooking of the government books and an aversion to hard work have brought Greece to this point. Greeks need to stop blaming everybody for this crisis and take a hard look in the mirror to see who the real culprits are.

Jun. 22 2012 03:51 PM
Stephen from Connecticut, USA

Ironically, Germany versus Greece in Euro 2012 football (soccer) takes place today. What impact might the result have on the European economic crisis?

Jun. 22 2012 02:14 PM
vicente from Athens

economic assistance - is rather vaque - the politics should be of an union - more - so to speak then - just continental situation - besides mentality and opinion more differnet or a like - there is the Idea of lack of understanding - even the exit is out of question - right !? then once again - why not ?! vichente from wwww.studiodue.org

Jun. 22 2012 02:43 AM

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