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Greeks feel frustrated with Merkel's austerity recipe ahead of German elections

English.news.cn   2013-09-21 01:42:11            

ATHENS, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Greece's media have over the past few weeks run extensive reports on Greek citizens' frustration with the austerity recipe on which incumbent German Chancellor Angela Merkel insists as a way to counter the debt crisis across Europe.

Local media reported that a significant part of the debate between parties in Germany during this year's pre-election campaign has been dedicated to the Greek economic crisis.

Greeks from top to bottom expect that the outcome of the German elections will have an impact on Greece's efforts to overcome the crisis with international support.

A recent editorial in "To Vima" (The Tribune) daily reveals stance most Greeks have in regards to the forthcoming polls in Germany, which favors Social Democrat candidate Peer Steinbrueck.

"The election campaign in Germany, and the debate between Merkel and Steinbrueck in particular, might not have enlightened us regarding the intentions of the new government, which ever that might be. It did however reveal some differences on how the two political leaders might handle the Greek crisis," it said.

The editorial argued that the Social Democrat candidate's realization that "the lethal dose of the austerity medicine" was a mistake and that the Greek economy must be supported in order to regain a momentum, highlights the difference of opinion of the two leaders.

"At the end of the day, as Steinbrueck explained, lethal austerity does not only concern Greece. It concerns about half of Europe that is struggling with the recession and unemployment. The sooner the German politicians and voters realize that you can't ignore a fire on your neighbor's house, the better for everyone," the editorial concluded.

Another revealing opinion article on the same wave length by commentator Pantelis Boukalas was carried in the newspaper "Kathimerini" (Daily).

"Whatever differences may separate the two candidates vying for the German Chancellery, they are still united by their wish to serve their country's best interests. On a very tangible level, this interest is expressed by the 40 billion euros (54.1 billion U.S. dollars) or so that euro zone crisis has offered up to the German economy via lower borrowing rates," Boukalas wrote.

"Of course no one - not even Germany - wants to see the crisis persisting in the bankrupt countries of Southern Europe... Wars can be targeted and limited in scope, but crises cannot. National borders cannot contain their spread," the article continued.

Boukalas continued: "without any signs of regret, Merkel insisted on the righteousness of the treatment she and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble have prescribed for Greece: austerity, structural reforms and, maybe, a new bailout."

He argued that any new bailout would confirm the failure of the two programs that have been introduced already.

"Steinbrueck's counterproposal, for a Marshall Plan-style solution to the Greek crisis, did not seem to move the chancellor. The truth is that the idea for such a plan ought to have come from the Greek government rather than the German candidate, but this would basically mean that the "success story" it likes to trumpet on about is a lie to a dying patient," the article ended.

Editor: yan
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