Austerity Angst

A Dangerous Moment

Austerity is for wimps: New Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If several euro-zone countries follow Greece’s lead and abandon austerity policies it could trigger another euro crisis.

  • Facts


    • Greece’s radical-left Syriza party won national elections last month.
    • It wants to re-negotiate E.U. bailout debts and reverse austerity policies that have hobbled the country.
    • Anti-austerity groups in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy would like their countries to follow suit.
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Greece’s newly elected government has made a show of avoiding contact with Berlin, to the point where it bordered on diplomatic rudeness.

As Alexis Tsipras, the new prime minister, embarked on a whirlwind tour of Europe, those instrumental in orchestrating the bailout of the euro, German chancellor Angela Merkel and her finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble, were reduced to watching from the sidelines.

Those around Ms. Merkel and Mr. Schäuble reacted to the snub with the proper composure. Ultimately, nothing happens in Europe without the consent of the German government.

The Greeks are well aware of that fact, which is why they are now putting an end to their Berlin boycott – finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has announced plans to pay an inaugural visit to Mr. Schäuble.

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