Is Germany trying to bully Greece out of the eurozone?

Things are getting ugly on the continent, as the Financial Times reports: The battle of wills between Athens and its eurozone lenders has intensified, with Greece’s finance minister accusing "forces in Europe" of pushing his country out of the euro while his German counterpart suggested postponing Greek elections and installing a new government without political ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images

Things are getting ugly on the continent, as the Financial Times reports:

The battle of wills between Athens and its eurozone lenders has intensified, with Greece's finance minister accusing "forces in Europe" of pushing his country out of the euro while his German counterpart suggested postponing Greek elections and installing a new government without political parties.…

There were signs a group of triple A-rated governments, including Germany, Finland and the Netherlands, were hardening their stance towards Athens. During a conference call among eurozone finance minsters [sic], the three countries suggested they may want additional letters from other smaller Greek parties and openly discussed the possibility of postponing Greek elections.

Things are getting ugly on the continent, as the Financial Times reports:

The battle of wills between Athens and its eurozone lenders has intensified, with Greece’s finance minister accusing "forces in Europe" of pushing his country out of the euro while his German counterpart suggested postponing Greek elections and installing a new government without political parties.…

There were signs a group of triple A-rated governments, including Germany, Finland and the Netherlands, were hardening their stance towards Athens. During a conference call among eurozone finance minsters [sic], the three countries suggested they may want additional letters from other smaller Greek parties and openly discussed the possibility of postponing Greek elections.

Ahead of the call, Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister, said in a radio interview Greece might delay its polls and install a technocratic government that does not include politicians like Mr Venizelos and Mr Samaras, similar to the model currently in place in Italy.

Obviously, no country is going to respond well to an infringement on sovereignty as blatant as foreign officials suggesting the idea of postponing elections and installing a "technocratic government" — the world "junta" has been thrown around — particularly not the sort of country that spends two decades feuding with one of its neighbors because its name is a bit too presumptuous.

Schäuble has to be aware of the degree of ugly anti-German sentiment in Greece right now and the fact that Greece’s main parties are losing ground to anti-austerity leftists in the polls. Tyler Cowen wonders if the goal is "simply to irritate the Greeks so much that they leave the Eurozone on their own."

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tags: EU, Greece

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