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14.07.2015

14:36 Uhr

Handelsblatt auf Englisch

A Pyrrhic Victory for Madame Europe?

VonSiobhán Dowling

Chancellor Merkel emerged from the bruising E.U. summit as the victor, having forced Greece to accept the toughest terms possible. But the deal could have a lasting negative impact on Germany’s reputation.

AFP

merkel and schaeuble plotting_afp

In the early hours of Monday morning, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek leader Alexis Tsipras had all but given up on reaching a deal, until Donald Tusk, the European Council chairman, intervened.

“Sorry, but there is no way you are leaving this room,” the former Polish prime minister is reported to have told the two sleep-deprived leaders, who had already been engaged in marathon all-night talks.

Up to that point, Mr. Tsipras had held out, resisting a €50 billion privatization fund for his country’s assets demanded by Germany. Mr. Tusk was determined that a deal aimed at preventing a Grexit would be reached.

In that battle of wills, we now know that it was the German chancellor who prevailed.

The Greeks capitulated and signed up to a three-year bailout program worth an estimated €86 billion that if passed by parliaments in Greece, Germany and a handful of other states, will effectively put the Greek economy under E.U. supervision.

Yet, could this also be a Pyrrhic victory for Ms. Merkel?

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