Is pocket insertion a problem in Greece?

Guido Westerwelle's hand lies relaxed on his desk on the government bench in the Bundestag. Nothing to see from the "clenched fist" that he allegedly has in his pocket - in view of the billion-dollar aid program for Greece. The Bundestag will pass this this week in an urgent procedure.

The Foreign Minister and FDP party leader is currently listening to Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is making her government statement on the Greek crisis. Government statements are usually not known for their entertainment value. This time, however, the boss seems to be brushed for riot.

Angela Merkel has had to take a lot for weeks. Of the picture-The newspaper first wrote in the sky as the iron chancellor because she promised that there would be no euro for Greece, she now has to put up with the accusation that she reacted too late and too vaguely to the crisis. In the population, their usual high approval ratings are gradually crumbling.

In the Bundestag she has only one answer: I and my government did the right thing.

Merkel calls the "bare figures, data and facts": Germany will grant the Greeks 14 billion euros in loans in 2011 and 2012 through the federally owned Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). This is guaranteed by the federal government and "ultimately the taxpayer".

That is all right, after all, it is "about nothing more and nothing less than the future of Europe and thus the future of Germany in Europe." So that would be settled.

But she has a special treat for the opposition. Especially for the representatives of the SPD and the Greens in the Bundestag.

Merkel attacks

Even before Greece was admitted to the euro area, there were warnings "galore" that something was wrong with the financial data of the Greeks, she notes. Merkel expressly points to the decisive year 2000 - at that time, after all, red-green ruled the country.

The Chancellor emphasized several times that she of course did not mention this in order to "be able to direct the blame to the address of the red-green government at the time". No, no, she does not have such a discussion. After all, this is "backward-looking" and "unproductive".

The CDU leader does not reveal why she then mentions it. Unless a sentence like "Because it helps that we face the seriousness of the situation" is a sufficient explanation.

"Unbelievable", the eaten SPD budget expert Joachim Poss, belts back.

Angela Merkel is not impressed by this: "Well meant wasn't always well done, ladies and gentlemen!" Thunderous applause from our own ranks. Merkel attacks. The empire is finally fighting back. This is what your fellow party members think.

Steinmeiers foams over Merkel's "cheekiness"

Union faction leader Volker Kauder later seconded that it was the red-green government that, with its lax attitude towards the European Stability Pact, laid the seeds from which the excessive indebtedness of the Greeks could only develop.

Merkel's attempt to blame the SPD for the Greek financial crisis, as it were, caught on with those addressed. The former coalition partner howls.

In any case, SPD parliamentary group leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier finds it difficult to stay cool when he comes to the desk: Not everyone in the government parliamentary groups seems to have been aware in recent weeks that this is "the biggest European crisis since the Treaty of Rome" he says and turns to the Chancellor. He pokes around with his index finger in the air as if he were fighting with an evil Merkel fairy: "That is why we forbid ourselves any self-righteous instruction. That is a cheek!"

Spurred on by Merkel's tips, he told her that she had "swayed like a pipe in the wind" during the crisis and is now declaring that to be a strategy. He does not accuse her of acting now, "but that you are only acting now and the mischief you have caused with it". Merkel's strategy is in truth: "Postpone, veil, gloss over".

This government does not offer "fire protection for Germany", it has let things drift and "is now calling for the fire brigade, where there is a blaze of fire". No government before has managed to "squander so much reputation and trust in a short space of time".

On Friday, there will probably be a large majority in parliament in favor of the Greece bailout package. With the exception of the left and a few MPs from the other parties, everyone understands that without the credit support for Greece, the euro could be in serious danger.

Steinmeier announced: "We will not agree to a pure credit authorization." But there is no longer any talk of that. The loans are linked to extensive conditions imposed on the government in Athens. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), considered relentless on such issues, will see to it that the Greeks save now that it crashes.

Guido Westerwelle listens to all of this as if he had better things to do. Maybe give another interview in which he talks about the "fist in the pocket". People like that. Somehow, the Greek crisis must ultimately be used for the election campaign in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Would have laughed if not.

© sueddeutsche.de/gba/mcs