Thursday, November 3, 2011
Cancelling the Greek Referendum and Angela Merkel's Steely Focus
Two final thoughts today on the Greek crisis: 1) Under immense political pressure from within his own party, the opposition, and the EU - i.e., Germany - Papandreou was forced to cancel the referendum. But the basic idea was a good one: he knew Germany would demand even more austerity as part of the bailout payments, but he also knew how much horrible economic pain and suffering has already been inflicted on his people by the current austerity regime. As Mark Carney recognized, seeking their consent was the right thing for a democratic leader to do, as challenging as that would be given the circumstances. 2) Ms Merkel doesn't really care about Greece: all she cares about, as she has made clear yesterday, is stabilizing the Euro. That's all anyone else in the EU, for that matter, cares about too.