Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany took to the airwaves over the weekend to try to quell ever-louder exitmongering talks among her political colleagues at home as they declared that Greece should depart the eurozone. At the same time, Germany’s insistence on a strict adherence to the conditions and calendar of Greece’s bailout package was undermined by Austria, whose chancellor said Athens should be granted more time to bring its economic situation under control.
Bloomberg reported Monday that Merkel (left) found herself calling for care from fellow German policymakers who insisted that Greece should be made to toe the line and perhaps forced to leave the eurozone by year end.
Alexander Dobrindt, general secretary of the governing Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), said in the German daily Bild that he expected Greece to depart the currency bloc in 2013. The remark had led Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle to say in a Reuters report that “bullying” of eurozone members had to stop.
It also prompted Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of Greece to say that the “cacophony” of exit talk has made it far more difficult for Greece to honor the terms of its bailout as it has driven investors away from the country.
Samaras was quoted saying in the report that such “toxic statements, from wherever they come, can only do damage. Is there any businessman who will make an investment in euros to get it back in drachmas? The recovery of the economy is of critical importance if we are to achieve our goals.”