Tuesday, July 14, 2015

After marathon negotiations last weekend, within the eurozone, on a new deal over Greece, a discussion has sparked in world media on the future of the monetary union. It seems that, as Stefan Wagstyl and Anne-Sylvaine Chassany write in the Financial Times, the crisis has tested not only the Eurozone’s capacity to reach an agreement with its most vulnerable member, but has also raised questions about the cohesion of a bloc whose biggest economy, Germany, has become its predominant political power.

In the course of last week’s frantic negotiations, France emerged as Greece’s most ardent defender, while Germany kept for itself the role of the enforcer of Eurozone rules, Stacy Meichtry and Anton Troianovski note in the Wall Street Journal. As the meeting wrapped, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin turned to his Greek counterpart, Euclid Tsakalotos, saying the tensions were “not about you. It’s about all of us... about how the whole euro sees a future together.” 

"There was in Germany a rather strong pressure for a Grexit," French President Francois Hollande said after the deal was struck. "I rejected that solution...Greece didn’t seek charity but solidarity from the eurozone." Hollande was anxious to keep Greece in the single currency; his main concern was that a Greek exit could lead to an increasingly Germany-style eurozone - with tough budget rules and a commitment to austerity at all cost, Wagstyl and Chassany note in the FT.