• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Ex-minister: Merkel's Greece policy is 'fatal'

The Local · 27 Jul 2015, 17:01

Published: 27 Jul 2015 17:01 GMT+02:00

Fischer was not sparing with his words.

He accused Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble of making decisions “fatal for Germany and Europe”.

During negotiations over the night of July 12th to 13th with Athens about Greek domestic reform, they had created a "historic fracture" with the past, Fischer said.

On July 13th a deal was finally reached between Athens and its creditors, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, on Greek reform proposals.

Germany played a central role in these negotiations, in which talks often were reduced to three-way discussions between Merkel, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and French President Francois Hollande.

Schäuble is believed to have pushed a hard bargain, and critics accuse him of using the threat of a Grexit to make the Greek government back down from many of its negotiating positions.

Merkel and Schäuble negotiated "without compromise," Fischer warned, accusing them of acting solely in the German national interest and of taking a step towards turning Europe "into a German sphere of influence".

German government 'wants less Europe'

Fischer, one of the most prominent figures in the Green Party since the 1980s, was himself no stranger to controversy during his time in office.

His decision in 1999 to commit German troops to combat in Serbia – the first time German troops had seen combat since the Second World War – was a major break with his party's previous pacifism and caused deep soul-searching in the federal republic as to Germany's role in Europe and the world.

But Fischer warned in his editorial that it was Merkel who was making the real break with German post-war diplomacy.

Referring to the night of the negotiations, he said "for the first time Germany didn't want Europe, it wanted something less, and that means in plain terms: the transformation of the eurozone from a European project into a sphere of German influence".

He said that Germany was turning Greece into a subject state.

"The alternative which Germany offered was either get out or accept a programme which makes you de facto a European protectorate with no hope of economic revival."

Story continues below…

He reserved particular bile for Schäuble, who he accused of still harbouring hopes of pushing Greece out of the euro.

"[Schäuble] wants to use debt relief as leverage to realize his idea of a 'voluntary' Grexit," Fischer wrote.

"The belief that the euro can be put to use to re-educate southern Europe economically will prove to be a dangerous mistake not only for Greece, but for the whole of Europe, which has been built on diversity and solidarity."

He concluded by saying that Germany has profited more than any other country from a united Europe, saying Berlin needs the European idea as a curb on its naked power.

"To let this foundation further erode would be an unparalleled act of foolishness for Germany and Europe and would bring the 'nasty Germans' back."

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Nearly 9,000 refugee children reported missing: report
Refugee children in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

German media reported on Monday that the number of refugee children reported as missing has doubled to reach nearly 9,000.

Vice-Chancellor: TTIP trade deal is dead
Photo: DPA

Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said Sunday that negotiations on a massive trade deal between the European Union and the United States were effectively dead in the water.

EU nations must not refuse Muslim migrants: Merkel
Photo: DPA

The refusal of some EU countries to accept Muslim refugees is "unacceptable", Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday as Germany called for quotas to divide the influx throughout the bloc.

Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
File photo: DPA

When a man swimming naked in a Bavarian lake felt a strange pain in his nether regions, he looked up to see a fisherman on the shore. "Don’t pull!" he shouted.

Study finds rival Rhineland beers 'actually taste the same'
Left: Altbier. Right: Kölsch. Or can you even tell? Photos: DPA.

Cologne and Düsseldorf have a long established rivalry, not least over who has the better home brew. So the results of a new study might be more than they can swallow.

Eastern Europe pushes Germany for joint EU army
Angela Merkel (l), Beata Szydlo and Victor Orban. Photo: DPA

Eastern EU countries on Friday pushed for the bloc to create a joint army as they met with Germany for talks on sketching Europe's post-Brexit future.

Merkel’s party mate wants to get rid of all Karl Marx streets
Karl Marx and one of the roadways in Berlin named for him. Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Nicor

Hundreds of streets are named after the founder of communism, but this conservative politician wants to give Marx the boot.

State elections
6 reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Photo: DPA

With state elections around the corner, The Local looks at the poor side of Germany's "poor but sexy" capital city.

Upstarts RB Leipzig plan to go right to top of Bundesliga
RB Leipzig players celebrate scoring against Dynamo Dresden. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig make their Bundesliga debut on Sunday, but the East German outfit, sponsored by energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull, are already far from popular in Germany's top-flight.

Poland criticizes Germany’s 'self-serving' foreign policy
Witold Waszczykowski. Photo: DPA

The Polish foreign minister has said that Germany all too often follows its own interests at the expense of its partners, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to visit Warsaw.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
8,441
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd