La Tribune: The Greek “No” puts Merkel with the back against the wall

La Tribune: The Greek “No” puts Merkel with the back against the wall

Athens, July 7, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

“By voting ‘no’, the Greeks showed once again their opposition to the impasse they have been led by austerity. Angela Merkel must therefore choose between taking account of this vote and the intransigence of her finance minister”.

This highlights the renowned financial journalist Romaric Godin of the French newspaper «La Tribune».

The French journalist who is very knowledgeable of Greek matter and has frequently studied the Greek debt crisis, said that after Sunday’s results and the overwhelming victory of the ‘No’ against the ‘Yes’ in the Greek referendum, “the bluff is not no longer an option for Angela Merkel”.

The Greeks despite the closed banks, the queues of pensioners for 120 euros from the already meager pension, and the open support of SME’s in favor of “Yes,” the Greeks said once again “No”, Godin says, and stresses that the Greeks proved “willing to take the risk of a Grexit, instead of been subjected to a barren austerity”.

He argues that in Sunday’s referendum, “was rejected the European logic” for “the second time in six months”, something that should make creditors contemplate on “the magnitude of the failure of the policies imposed on the country since 2010”. “Once again, we must take into account that the strategy of fear they used, does not work anymore in Greece”, he comments.

Merkel’s tactic has failed

Thus, Angela Merkel, according to «La Tribune», is faced with and “must recognize that for the first time since 2010 the practice of progressive disintegration she adopted, failed”.

And that’s not all. Merkel is now faced “with what she hates: the need to make a choice”. According to Godin, the fact that the Greek government perceives the ‘No’ as strengthening its negotiating position and is ready to restart negotiations with lenders directly, “stretching the hand to creditors, obliges Angela Merkel to decide simply whether to accept to catch the extended hand or to refuse.

In short, the ball is now in her court and, according to Romaric Godin, if she does nothing” and considers the Greek crisis as a technocratic issue, leaving the ECB and the Eurogroup to decide its fate, “quite simply opens the door to a Grexit”.

Nevertheless, according to the French analyst, there is still time and “Angela Merkel may decide to stop the intolerable mechanism”. “She can accept the outcome and the decision of the Greek people and to start negotiations on the basis of the last Greek proposal”.

Merkel had given unfounded promises

Indeed, Godin continues criticizing the German Chancellor for her “unsubstantiated promises” to the German people, as she accuses Alexis Tsipras for his own election commitments to the Greek people. According to the columnist of «La Tribune», Angela Merkel gave an impossible promise to her voters when she asserted that Germany would “recover the amounts it has been paid since 2010 to Greece”. But now she must set aside demagogy, he claims, and agree to discuss the future of Greek debt. The insinuation of Godin is clear: Merkel should accept a Greek debt relief.

At this point he makes her accountable for the future of Europe. The French journalist notes that “this is a difficult choice for the chancellor. If she refuse to take this road and continues to let the ECB, the Eurogroup and finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, who believes that a Grexit could be “temporary”, decide, that means she accepts the price of the appalling consequences primarily for Greece itself. If the Grexit is proven wrong, then (Merkel) should respond to the worsening of the humanitarian crisis which has already appeared. Then she should know that she will go down in history as the one who leveled everything built by the previous generation. The economic and monetary union will be a fixed exchange rate system where at any time (one member) could be expelled or explode (the system itself). This would be a structure that lacks a political concept”.

Also, in the article of La Tribune it is stresses that “if the Chancellor refused to accept the reality of the unsustainability of the Greek debt, risking a unilateral breach (payment) from Greece, both she and the minister of finance will have to explain to Germans taxpayers that their rigidity caused the loss of a larger amount of money than what they wanted to save”.

Therefore, Angela Merkel, one day after the Greek referendum is with her back against the wall. “The Greeks have clearly forced Angela Merkel to take accountability. Monday will be a decisive day. The Chancellor will meet with Francois Hollande. But she should know before she goes (the meeting) whether she will accept or not the restart of the negotiations. Without an agreement, the Bundestag will refuse any discussion. Thus, without the green light from the Bundestag, the ESM will not be able to commit to discussions on a new program. The Chancellor is therefore with the back against the wall”.