Given all the Germany-bashing over the last week, in the wake of the Cyprus bailout deal (some of it completely ridiculous), it’s easy to forget that the Germans themselves are remarkably united over the agreement. In fact, the feeling is that Germany, collectively, just got a fair bit more assertive over its eurozone policy.
On Friday, before a new agreement was finally reached and with Cyprus’ euro membership on the line, German Chancellor Angela Merkel – reportedly in an angry mood – told MPs from her coalition parties that it was wrong for Cyprus to “test” Europe and that while she preferred to see to see Cyprus stay in the single currency but was prepared for an exit.
Writing in Die Welt, Director of the Hamburg Institute of International Economics Thomas Straubhaar describes the Cypriot bailout deal as a “turning-point” in the eurozone crisis, arguing that:
“Up until now, the bankrupt countries have been able to use fear of a domino effect to extort Europe. That is now over because the strong eurozone countries have the better hand – and they should not be afraid to play it”.
The implications of a Germany more prepared to assert its viewpoint has huge implications for the future of the eurozone and the EU as a whole. Remember who holds the cheque book…
Full article: No backing down: Germany comes out swinging over claims it is the neighbourhood bully (Open Europe)