When Athens is in crisis, Berlin worries.
Greece faces snap elections as early as next month and it looks very much as if the leftist Syriza, which has rejected euro zone austerity policies, will come to power. If it does, there is a real risk of a Greek default and another wave of chaos in the euro zone.
The euro crisis, it seems, is back.
German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, has already entered the debate, making it clear that Germany expects Greece to stick to its commitments.
“Any new government has to stick to the contractual agreements of its predecessors,” he warned. He added that while Germany would help the country “to help itself,” if the country stuck to its reform path, there was “no alternative” to structural change.
The Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras, was constitutionally obliged to call new national elections after the government’s candidate for president, a largely ceremonial role, failed to be elected by parliament on Monday. Mr. Samaras had hoped to muster the 180 votes required but in the third round his candidate, Stavros Dimas, only got 168 votes.
This result will now trigger a general election.