• Germany's news in English
 

Merkel hails EU deal on Greek financial aid

AFP/The Local · 26 Mar 2010, 11:39

Published: 26 Mar 2010 11:39 GMT+01:00

"I think Europe proved its capacity for action on a major issue, at the same time working to protect euro stability and demonstrating solidarity towards a country in difficulty," Merkel told reporters as she arrived for the second and last day of an EU summit in Brussels.

"For all of us it is important that our common currency... remains stable and that's why yesterday was important for the euro," said Merkel, who helped broker the deal with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

EU leaders agreed late Thursday, after weeks of negotiations, to come to the aid of Greece with an unprecedented offer of bilateral national loans coupled with help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The deal marked the first time the IMF, the international lender of last resort, has been pulled in to rescue a eurozone nation since the common currency came into being in 1999.

The euro rose slightly early Friday following the EU deal, pulling away from previous 10-month lows against the dollar. The euro was at $1.3339 in early London deals, up from $1.3277 in New York late on Thursday.

The German press on Friday hailed Merkel for winning over other EU leaders to her position on Greece, but said that the victory left behind an unpleasant aftertaste.

"Angela Merkel triumphs, the eurogroup has accepted an emergency plan for Greece on her conditions," Der Spiegel magazine said on its website. Although she has played hardball in Brussels before, "she was always ready to compromise before. But this time she did not bend to the others, she even hardened her position," the weekly said.

"But the price is high: for her EU partners, 'Miss Europa' has turned into 'Frau Nein'. We are threatened by huge damage to our image."

The Handelsblatt business daily said that Merkel's "verve" was reminiscent of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but that she had scored a "bitter victory."

Calling her the "iron chancellor" - as Germany's no-nonsense first Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in the 19th century was also known - the paper said Merkel won "but she had to break a lot of china doing so."

There is now "little hope" that Merkel will be able to persuade other leaders to adopt tougher checks on eurozone countries' deficits or that chronic fiscal sinners can be expelled from the 16-nation club, Handelsblatt said.

The Financial Times Deutschland agreed, calling the EU rulebook "obsolete" and saying that changes are so important "that they cannot be buried in a working group."

"The compromise means the Greek patient is out of danger for the time being," the FTD said. "But the undeniable result is that someone else is now in intensive care: the currency union as a whole."

The Frankfurter Rundschau, meanwhile, said that Merkel's "biggest mistake" had been to listen to people "who never liked the euro" and political opinion polls.

"If the German chancellor ... is calling on the IMF, then she is betraying the European idea, the European project ... If the IMF is the solution, then the European project is finished."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

14:43 March 26, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Where's peschvogel now that we need him to explain yet again how IMF intervention is impossible?
15:59 March 26, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
No doubt he's off being pedantic in his handbag-knitting group.
16:47 March 26, 2010 by peschvogel
IMF is indeed invloved however, the geld will "all" come from EU states.

The IMF is taking more of a budgetary & supervisory role. Spain, Portugal are delighted at this news....
07:08 March 27, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Nice try, peschvogel. Sounds like you flunked out of the George Orwell "double unspeak" school of political spin. Shall we assemble a compendium of your direct quotes from other threads in which you pontificate in no uncertain terms about how IMF intervention or involvement is illegal, unconstitutional and could never, ever happen? Amazing how people who talk through their nether orifice can never admit they are wrong.
09:30 March 27, 2010 by William Thirteen
well to be generous, incoherent babble cannot ever actually be right or wrong....
16:55 March 27, 2010 by peschvogel
Well, to the delight of the German taxpayer in late April, they wont be disappointed by the "new structure" of money leaving Germany and going to Greece for free. And Spain & Portugal are extremelly delighted to hear the news that there is money to help them as well. And more German bank bailouts coming to a landesbank near you.. Schade...
17:45 March 29, 2010 by Hibernicus
What hypocrisy!

On the one hand Merkel is lecturing the Greeks on reducing

their debt while her Defence Minister is pressing Greece to

buy large quantities of tanks, fighter jets and other weapons from Germany thus creating more debt! And no money is

going to Greece, just promises to back up Greece's sovereign debt if required. None of them can afford to renege on this; if they did the Eurozone would collapse. Capitalist "finance"

has been exposed as the three-card-trick it is yet, some people continue to be fooled by it.
Today's headlines
The photojournalist making news intimate
World Press Photo winner Mads Nissen. Photo: DPA

The photojournalist making news intimate

3 hours ago

Photographer Mads Nissen’s World Press Photo of the Year is currently touring Germany and the world. It’s a provocative image of two Russian gay men and one that some say is changing the definition of photojournalism.

Six athletics world champs head to Berlin
ISTAF is held annually in Berlin. File Photo: DPA

Six athletics world champs head to Berlin

3 hours ago

six world champions, freshly crowned from Beijing, will be gracing Berlin's Olympic Stadium on Sunday in the annual ISTAF track-and-field meet.

A week after heatwave, snow falls in Bavaria
Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain. File Photo: DPA

A week after heatwave, snow falls in Bavaria

3 hours ago

From 30C to snow in under a week? It's possible in Germany where seven centimetres of the white stuff fell at the top of the Bavarian Alps on Friday.

Oktoberfest and the Refugee Crisis
Munich plans to keep revellers, refugees apart
Police and refugees at Munich Central Station. Photo: DPA

Munich plans to keep revellers, refugees apart

3 hours ago

Police in Munich are preparing a significant operation to ensure that drunken revelers at Oktoberfest are kept away from refugees arriving at the city's central station from Budapest.

Criminal had time for pit stop in 20-cop-car chase
Photo: DPA

Criminal had time for pit stop in 20-cop-car chase

7 hours ago

With 21 police cars and a helicopter hot on his heels, it seemed unlikely that police in Düsseldorf would fail to catch one rogue motorist. But after a two-hour pursuit, that's exactly what happened in the early hours of Friday.

What's keeping Germans awake at night in 2015?
The Greek debt crisis has been haunting German dreams. Source: Wikipedia

What's keeping Germans awake at night in 2015?

1 day ago

Having to cough up for the excesses of spendthrift southern Europeans is the fear most likely to haunt German nightmares in 2015. But getting caught up in a natural disaster isn't far behind, an annual survey shows.

This Week in History
The death of a great humanitarian
Schweitzer spent most of his later years at Lambaréné. Photo: DPA

The death of a great humanitarian

1 day ago

On September 4th 1965, the world lost one of its most dedicated and tireless humanitarians, as Albert Schweitzer died in the African hospital he had created and cherished for over 50 years. A hospital that continues to save lives today.

Refugee crisis
Pro-refugee group push punk classic to no. 1
Die Ärzte singer and drummer Bela B. with a DVD titled "not interested in Nazis" in 2009. Photo: DPA

Pro-refugee group push punk classic to no. 1

8 hours ago

Under the banner of "Arsehole Action", activists campaigning against xenophobia and hatred of refugees have pushed a 1993 hit by punk band Die Ärzte mocking the far right to the top of Germany's charts.

Refugee Crisis
Orban: Muslims threaten European identity
Viktor Orban, guardian of Europe? Photo: DPA

Orban: Muslims threaten European identity

10 hours ago

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned Thursday that the wave of mostly Muslim refugees coming to Europe threatens to undermine the continent's Christian roots - an idea rejected by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Football fan given 18 months for lighting flare
Football fans set of a flare. File Photo: DPA

Football fan given 18 months for lighting flare

10 hours ago

Germany is continuing its zero tolerance approach to football supporters lighting flares in Bundesliga grounds after a Schalke supporter was jailed for 18 months on Thursday with no parole.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

Features
'Berlin is kind of like the best American city'
Features
How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears
Sport
German named 'arse bombing' world champ
Travel
Retiree finds parked car after three-week search
National
Ten ways Germany puts Britain to shame
Business & Money
German gadget clamps down on Nutella thieves
Society
Is Germany now a nation of couch potatoes?
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,971
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd