“Germans Tired of Greek Demands Want Country to Exit Euro”
Bloomberg Businessweek, March 15, 2015
“Berlin cabdriver Jens Mueller says he’s had it with the Greek government and he doesn’t want Germany to send any more of his tax money to be squandered in Athens. … Mueller’s sentiment is shared by a majority of Germans. A poll published March 13 by public broadcaster ZDF found 52 percent of his countrymen no longer want Greece to remain in Europe’s common currency, up from 41 percent last month. The shift is due to a view held by 80 percent of Germans that Greece’s government ‘isn’t behaving seriously toward its European partners.’ The hardening of German opinion is significant because the country is the biggest contributor to Greece’s 240 billion-euro ($253 billion) twin bailouts and the chief proponent of budget cuts and reforms in return for aid. Tensions have been escalating between the two governments since [Greek] Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took office in January, promising to end an austerity drive that he blames on [German] Chancellor Angela Merkel. … The shift in German sentiment comes as Greece, at risk of running out of cash this month, battles with European officials over the release of more bailout funds. Tsipras will join European leaders Thursday for talks in Brussels. German voters’ growing umbrage may make it harder for Merkel to sell any possible deal down the road to the German public and Bundestag, which would have to vote on it. She also has to be wary of the anti-euro AfD party trying to peel off her voters, said Juergen Falter, a political scientist at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz.”
Quickie analysis: This has been a long time coming.