Monday 5 December 2016

We must strive to work for the greater good

Published 21/02/2012 | 05:00

Against a background of squabbling and frayed tempers, the European Union finance ministers inched their way last night towards agreement on a second bailout for Greece, comprising a €130bn loan and a writeoff of 70pc of the debt owed to private investors.

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The ill-feeling was internal as well as bilateral. Chancellor Angela Merkel has not concealed her impatience with Greece, but she has domestic difficulties too. In recent days there have been rumours of splits with her finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble.

The famously hard-headed Dutch annoyed some of their colleagues by raising a new issue when the eleventh hour had already arrived. They wanted "permanent control" of the Greek economy jointly by the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

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