A war of words has been simmering between the German and Greek governments ever since the Greek crisis appeared on the agenda in 2010. The escalation of the linguistic conflict we have seen since the election of the Syriza government is, however, something completely new and is spiralling out of control.
We are now getting into serious ‘point of no return territory’. The German stance on austerity and how to deal with the Euro crisis has been woeful, the government is not facing up to reality, the media are biased and Schäuble is arrogant and completely out of his depth. In an interview with Austrian television he again pushed all responsibility for a potential Grexit accident onto the Greek government. He simply seems incapable of understanding the broader context and should resign his position with immediate effect. I cannot see any circumstances in which he could play a positive role in the resolution of the crisis going forward given the position he has put himself him. He has become a liability.
But the latest stuff by the Greek government threatening to send Islamist terrorists to Germany and instrumentalising WWII compensation cases is also a new low. They are fighting with their backs to the wall but will this help improve their position? To me all this seems to do is strengthening the position of the hardliners in Germany and making the work of people like me, who understand the Greek position and want to help break the deadlock, harder and harder as these attacks are against “Germany” as a whole, not just the German government. This is something I cannot and will not defend.
Public opinion is shifting more and more towards the hardline position. This is of course also due to extremely biased reporting in Germany but pouring fuel into the fire really does not help. As the latest poll by German television showed, we are now, for the first time, in the territory in which the majority of Germans think Greece should leave the Euro – a swing of more than 10% in one month!
With this escalating war of words we are now creating wounds that will take decades to heal and might infect the European Union as a whole. We need to stop this now or the worst of the European crisis will be yet to come!