Greek crisis: Germany braces to answer Athens' call

11 May 2011

, 11 May 2011

“The impossible rescue,” leads Handelsblatt as Greece gets ready yet again to send out a distress call for more financial aid. Impossible, says the Düsseldorf daily, noting that the initiatives taken so far have failed one after the other, without any lessons having been drawn. In May 2010, 110 billion euros were allocated to Greece to stabilise its economy – “but stability hasn’t happened.” In March 2011 the loan repayments were extended from three years to seven and a half years to calm the markets – “but the markets haven’t lost the jitters.” On May 10, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced again, in a “gesture of despair”, that action must be taken “for a stronger Greece”. The Chancellor, however, seems deaf to “the fundamental experience of this past year. For the measures – in fact, credits worth billions – have not worked. The road for those who want to save the Greeks leads nowhere. [...] And yet the usual cavalry” – the IMF and the European Central Bank – “are already heading back to Athens” to discuss an extension of credit of approximately 60 billion euros and a new repayment deadline, which would stretch the seven and a half years to ten, the economic daily reports. “Once again, we want to stabilise Greece by combining a brutal austerity with billions in credits. This kind of help just deepens the crisis,” Handelsblatt concludes.