• 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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"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.

Story continues below…

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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
Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Mysterious German U-boat wreckage found off Scotland
Photo: ScottishPower

First World War U-boat "attacked by sea monster” thought to be found off Scottish coast.

Supermarket Edeka warns of exploding apple juice bottles
Photo: DPA

"Risk of injury" from "Gut und Günstig" sparkling apple juice bottles has forced Germany's largest supermarket to recall the product.

By wheelchair from Syria to Germany: teen's story of hope
Nujeen Mustafa. Photo: HarperCollins-William Collins Publicity/Private

She tackled the gruelling 2,000-kilometre migrant trail in a wheelchair, translating along the way for other refugees using English she learned from a US soap opera. Now this teen is living in Germany and hoping to inspire others with a newly published memoir.

Berlin Zoo to have a pair of pandas by next summer
A recently born panda pair at Vienna Zoo. Photo: DPA

The giant bamboo-eating bears will move into a brand new 5,000 square-metre enclosure in the capital's Zoologischer Garten.

Two new spider species discovered in Munich
Zoropsis spinimana. Photo: rankingranqueen / Wikimedia Commons

It's news every arachnophobe in Munich is no doubt thrilled to hear: two types of spider new to the region have been discovered in the Bavarian capital - and one of them bites!

After woman's body found in barrel, husband may walk free
Franziska S., who went missing 24 years ago. Photo: Hanover police.

A woman disappeared in Hanover 24 years ago, but no one reported her missing. Although her husband has now confessed to her murder, he still may not step foot in jail.

Two injured after army tank falls 50 metres in Alps
A Bundeswehr Puma tank. File photo: DPA

A Bundeswehr (German army) soldier has been severely injured after the tank he was riding in crashed 50 metres down an embankment after going off course in bad weather.

Teen girl stands trial for 'Isis' police stabbing in Hanover
Police guard the courthouse in Celle. Photo: DPA

A teenage girl stands trial from Thursday in Germany for stabbing a police officer, an assault allegedly "ordered" by Isis but which was not claimed by the jihadist group.

Merkel threatens Putin with more sanctions on Berlin visit
Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel created a united front with French President Francois Hollande in Berlin on Thursday to denounce Russia’s “war crimes” in Syria.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd