Germans turn against the EU as eurozone meltdown heaps misery on Angela Merkel
German fury at paying for Greek extravagence is turning into anger against the European Union, the euro, and Angela Merkel, writes Andrew Gilligan in Westphalia.
by Andrew Gilligan in Bielefeld, Westphalia
Published: 7:30AM BST 16 May 2010
Unlike the lily-livered British red-tops, the main German tabloid, Bild Zeitung, puts nipples on the front page. Day after day for the past week, it has been metaphorically stripping naked the same victim, then pouring cold baked beans over her head. Once-divorced mother-of-none Angela Merkel, 55, from Berlin, a chancellor of Germany, has had probably the worst seven days of her life.
To imagine the full scale of Mrs Merkel's disaster, think of it as a bit like that moment in 2008 when Britain suddenly had to find £46 billion of public money to bail out the banks, overnight storing up years of spending cuts, tax rises and general misery for everyone else. Then multiply the amount of money potentially required, and the amount of pain which could be inflicted, by three.
Mix in the fact that the people the German government has had to rescue aren't even Germans, but Greeks. Add that the deal was done only after the repeated prodding by Mrs Merkel's great European rival, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who reportedly threatened to pull out of the euro. Then there was the problem that as all this was unfolding, Mrs Merkel had to face a vital election. more