The relations between Germany and Greece have reached an unprecedented low point since WWII. The former demanded the latter to undertake structural reforms, build a solid budget and run a functioning administration if it seeks any further financial aid. The latter demanded the former to stop giving lessons and start paying its war reparations. No need to tell how weird it might have been for the two countries’ leaders, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, to hold bilateral talks in Berlin. Merkel saw “an appetite for cooperation” on behalf of her counterpart Tsipras and his government.
“We want Greece to be strong economically, we want Greece to grow and above all we want Greece to overcome its high unemployment,” Merkel said. “Neither are the Greeks lazy louts nor are the Germans to blame for Greece’s ills (…) we have to work hard to overcome these stereotypes,” Tsipras replied. The meeting eased tensions, at least for some time, but both leaders’ stances remained unchanged. Merkel stressed it is up to the Eurogroup to ease Greece’s liquidity problems. Tsipras said he came “for an exchange of thoughts, opinions, to see where there is common ground and where there is disagreement.” There are both but the solution to Greece’s crisis – and to the Euro area as a whole – has yet to be found.