Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Germans do not believe that the Greek bailout will work

German taxpayers are not stupid:

A majority of Germans believe the bailout (of Greece) won't work. According to a survey conducted by pollster Emnid and published on Sunday, 62 percent said they wanted parliament to vote "No" on Monday. Only 33 percent were in favor. Almost two-thirds said they were convinced that Greece can't be rescued from state bankruptcy.

But the Merkel Government (with the help of a clear majority in the German parliament) continues its disastrous bailout policy despite of the will of the people and the opinion of a growing number of economists.

And when a minister dares to disagree, he is immediately rebuked by the Chancellor:

Chancellor Angela Merkel was forced to rebuke one of her cabinet ministers, Hans-Peter Friedrich, for breaking ranks with the government's line and saying Greece should be encouraged to quit the euro.

Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said she "doesn't share this view" and believed that the priority was to stabilize Greece within the euro zone.

Seibert added that the center-right coalition government had a unified position on the €130 billion ($175 billion) package for Greece.

Merkel's move prompted Friedrich, who is interior minister, to distance himself from his own statements. "We assume as the federal government that Greece can be reformed and made more competitive within the euro zone," he told reporters ahead of a meeting of conservative leaders in parliament on Monday. "I have no doubts about the chancellor's bailout course." He added that his own support for the second bailout package for Greece had never been in question. The package, he said, was for the time being the "best alternative, otherwise I wouldn't vote for it."

However, in an interview with SPIEGEL published on Monday, Friedrich had said: "Greece's chances to regenerate itself and become competitive are surely greater outside the monetary union than if it remains in the euro area."

The interior minister does not seem to be the only member of the government who has doubts about Merkel´s policy:

the center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Monday that Friedrich may not be the only government member to have major doubts about the strategy to rescue Greece.
The newspaper reported that other ministers, among them Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Economics Minister Philipp Rösler, had privately voiced doubts that the crisis management strategy can work. The newspaper gave no further details.

Read the entire article here


It is, of course, possible that all this is just political theatre. Mrs. Merkel could in the end turn out to be the greatest eurosceptic of them all.

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