Fragile boom

A Tale of Two Economies

wine glasses
A fragile situation for Europe, but for the moment Germany is chugging along just fine.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany’s economic strength suggests it has room to further ease the Greek debt burden, but the problems for Greece’s economy run much deeper.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Greece has received some €250 billion in rescue loans from its European partners.
    • Unemployment remains above 25 percent.
    • The ECB has ruled out participating in any debt forgiveness for Greece.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

As the dust settles from a dramatic Greek election over the weekend, it’s crunch time for Athens and its creditors. Germany, its largest creditor, seems unbruised so far by the turmoil.

With a new government sworn in under the anti-austerity Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras, tense negotiations can now begin between this struggling southern European nation and the wealthy northern European creditors, led by Germany, that have backed it with some €250 billion in rescue loans.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who serves as the representative of the euro zone’s finance ministers, will travel to Athens on Friday to get the ball rolling. The two sides begin the talks very far apart – Mr. Tsipras is demanding that a portion of Greece’s public debt be forgiven, while his creditors have said this is not on the cards.

The time for negotiation is shorter than many policymakers might think.

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