Monday 22 January 2018

Adrian Hamilton: Francois Hollande must visit Athens and give hope .... the Greeks could do with it

EUROPE is preparing for Greece to leave the eurozone but it doesn't want it to do it. That is the central dichotomy of the summit which ended in Brussels in the early hours of yesterday, as indeed of the last half-dozen summits before it. And it would have been mad to have expected the meeting to resolve matters.

All the pressure put on Germany to change its disciplinary stance has served only to have the opposite effect. Given her falling ratings and the constant haranguing by opposition politicians, the last thing Chancellor Merkel could do was suddenly announce a conversion to eurobonds and a different role for the European Central Bank. She can't do it under the constitution of the ECB and she can't do it politically. Full stop.

If Germany is to change, if Greece is to be kept in the euro, it is going to have to be through a Europe-wide political consensus which will enable Germany to adjust its position and Greece's partners to moderate theirs.

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