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German coalition government crumbles over Greece

Οne day after the resignation of CSU vice chairman Peter Gauweiler, German coalition government seems to be seriously jeopardized by the now open dispute between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble over Greece. In an interview to a German newspaper, Schaueble not only blatantly declared his naked antipathy towards Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, he even threatened to resign from the ministerial office, should the German Chancellor continue to support Greece.

I can no longer tolerate this situation, it’s either they [the Greeks] or me!

Schaueble told a local newspaper in the German capital. Describing the debt-ridden country as an administrative and economic disaster that will destroy the whole euro zone  Schaeuble expressed his concern about the future of the common currency union, saying that

Greece is causing a grave hit to the reputation of the euro zone exposing the inability of the Euro-mechanism to deal with economical problematic and rebel countries.

Schaeuble said also that he would resign from the Christian Democrat Union (CSU) but he would not retire from politics. He said, he would seek to form a new party with his spiritual brother Gauweiler. I support a German-led Europe but I also agree with Gauweiler on Greece, he reportedly said.(full article in Berliner Tagesnachrictenanzeiger)

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  1. Bye – bye then Herr Schaeuble – good-riddance! It’s Germany that is destroying the EU – there’s none so blind as those that will not see!

    • “…there’s none so blind as those that will not see!”
      Now this one made my day – cracking comment!
      You fell for it, blind man 😉

  2. Ha ha, nice one… 🙂

  3. Every day Greece gives us hope. We applaud you for your conviction and we stand behind you 110%. This German destruction must stop.

  4. cyril mcdonnell

    the germans are increasingly looking like the boy with his finger in the dyke trying in vain to stem the tide once that dam is breached who knows???

  5. Bernardo Brito e Cunha

    Bye! You’re going too late!

  6. nice… here’s another one:


    Have a nice day 😉

  7. As he says Greece are “….exposing the inability of the Euro-mechanism to deal with economical problem…”s – shame they didn’t realize this before they shoe-horned all the less financially strong countries into accepting the euro! Germany wanted more EU countries participating in the euro-zone for their own ends, now they must deal with the consequences!

    • “hey didn’t realize this before they shoe-horned all the less financially strong countries into accepting the euro!”

      Sorry man but this is factually wrong.
      German politicians accepted the euro as the PRICE they had to pay for reunification.
      The german public was rather afraid of the euro because they feared the euro would be a weaker/softer currency then the old DM.

  8. Bye Bye kyrie Schaeuble!!!!

  9. Haha,
    great one!
    And reading the comment here make it even funnier 🙂
    Schäuble and Gauweiler – would be one hell of a duo.
    Would give Tsipras and Varoufakis “a run for their money” as the wackiest duo in European Politics (and yes, pun intended…).

  10. Germany is not the alone deciding part in the troika/eurogroup/whatever. And only blaming Germany and Germans are not going to solve Greek problems.

    I read a lot of comments here at keeptalkinggreece, about stopping the stereotyping on Lazy and dishonest Greeks. Yet, with an unemployment rate that is the highest in Europe (Spain in close heels); it’s hard not to.

    And yet, the mentality when talking to unemployed Greeks is met is a shrug and “What can we do?”

    While meeting with leaders or managers of Greek businesses in Hotel and Restaurant industries they are “forced” to hire cleaners from Bulgaria, Albania or whatever. Talked to several Hotel Owners that would prefer to have Greek workers, but they can’t be found…

    And frankly, I see very few attempts here in the comments of keeptalkinggreece of trying anything different, rather the whipping the one-trick-pony of “Germany are bad, and they are bad bad bad”

    • keeptalkinggreece

      hotel & other tourist businesses are “forced” to hire from BUL, ALB + whatever, because they don’t pay social security for them.

      • I think all this Bul. and Alb workers cleaning olive groves and getting the oranges, lemons and olives from the trees.
        this Hotel guys do not pay the IKA?
        the goverment workers do not check this?
        or do they get a fakelaki?

      • So they don’t have to pay social security for them because it’s subsidised by the Greek state?

    • It is simplistic, stereotypical comments based on anecdotes from “several hotel owners” such as this that feed the beast of misinformation against the Greek people. There are many, many Greeks filling tourism labor positions on the island where I live. The bulk of the Albanian workers are long term, year round residents of the island that have worked many years for a given employer. Even at that, the number of work permits issued on our island to non-EU citizens has dropped by over 60%. The jobs they once held no longer exist.

      Unemployment rates have nothing to do with laziness. By definition, the unemployed are people seeking work, not people avoiding work. Since 2010, the nation lost 1 million jobs as a result of austerity. That’s a “1” followed by six zeroes. At a modest 8,000 Euros per year in average wages, that’s 8 BILLION in lost wages due to jobs and companies that no longer exist. Can you get your head around that? Even the most industrious German can’t find employment at a company that no longer exists, and it is estimated that well over 130,000 small firms went out of business as a result of the austerity program and consequent 25% reduction in GDP. And, your Herr Schauble stridently demands we eliminate even more jobs. Wonder why your nation might be vilified?

      I would suggest that you look at the OECD data on ACTUAL hours worked in various countries by those that are employed. Golly gee! Lazy, corrupt Greeks averaged 2,037 hours of work per year in 2013, while industrious Germans averaged 1,388.

      I suggest you spend more time reading reputable sources and less time reading blogs, anti-Greek media and other scurrilous material.



      • You know why germans can work so few hours?
        Because when they work they actually work efficently.
        You cant compare work hours on a one by one basis. For example take the owner of a beach bar compared to someone working in an engineering office. Wakes up in the morning, goes downstairs and whenever someone comes along he’ll serve them. Do that from morning till evening(even though there might not be that much to do in off season) and you get to 14-16 hours of work without generating that much actual revenue.
        There are cultural differences too, i recently had a talk with an american. Apparantly it is expected to work long extra hours in many office jobs there. At the same time theres a lot of socialising drinking coffee and just gossipping going on at work.
        Id be pissed as hell if my employer and or co-workers demanded i stay longer because of such inefficencies, id rather work at work and do the socialising at home with my friends.

        All that said, those insulting stereotypes, be it the lazy greeks or the dominating nazi-germans, just hurt us all. Problems get solved by negotiating and objective argument not by insulting the other guys around the table. I just wish stupid posing on both sides would stop.

        • che

          What a neat, simple, ill informed statement.

          First of all, beach bar workers are a miniscule part of the labor force, but of course, since they are the ones most visible to tourists, are the easiest for you to stereotype by. But let’s look at the lot of the tourism worker.

          What would you suggest a restaurant or cafe worker do? Put up a sign that he will only be available during those hours when it is predicted that 6 or more customers will come in, so adjust your vacation accordingly? The worker, whether he/she likes it or not, has to available to serve the needs of the clientele, not march to some notion of efficiency.

          And of course, invisible to you, the facility worker has to arrive well before opening to have everything ready to go when the doors open, and stay after closing to clean up. Sometimes, at the height of the season, this might mean being ready to receive supplies a couple of hours before opening time, as the delivery services have to be on the road at dawn to get the job done.

          Yes, tourism workers are not office or factory drones, where employers can squeeze maximum productivity in minimum hours. Rather, they work maximum hours so that foreign tourists can squeeze maximum pleasure out of them over as many hours as the tourists desire.

          I suggest you spend one tourist season here, working in a bar, cafe or restaurant, and after three months or so of 14 – 16 hours “easy” work days with perhaps three or four days off, and then tell us about it.

          • You misunderstand me. First of all my main statement, i.e. that comparing work hours on a one by one basis isnt very usefull isnt ill informed, you yourself confirm it in your last two paragraphs. Different jobs and or working methods yield different results, i could go much further then the beach bar owner/worker. Take a bureaucrat working 8 hours a day enforcing red tape, in this case working harder might actually hurt the countries economy.
            I can easily make the point via retirement age as well. Take an office worer and a construction worker at 60, they might have worked the same amount of time, but its not a problem for most office workers to continue working for another 10 years, whereas the construction workers usually cant and should be allowed to retire earlier.

            But the main point where you misunderstand me is that you assume i judge where i dont. I never said that tourism jobs are easier or less stressfull, and most certainly i neither said nor meant that the people working those jobs are worth less.
            Isnt this misunderstanding the consequence of all the name calling on both sides, meaning you assume a bad will on my part because we(as in greeks and germans not you and me) talk more about then to each other?

      • You’re right, unemployment is not connected to laziness and the “several” hotels owners I’ve met doesn’t represent the whole range of hotel owners. What is interesting though is that I have so far not heard an opposite story in Northern Greece, which I visit a lot. You suggest I spend more time reading reputable sources, but these sources I refer to are Greeks in Greece, should I then assume that they are lying?

        Herr Schauble is neither mine and/or Germany is not my country nor my nationality. I lived in both countries though, along with a bunch of other countries.

        I’m pro-EU, but a EU without Romania, Greece, Bulgaria any of the previous states from former Yugoslavia, Portugal and Spain.

        This has nothing to do with Xenophobia from my side. I’m simply not interested in solidarity for European countries with a high level of corruption. Take for example Croatia that just joined EU, which is more corrupt than Rwanda.

        Corruption is of the complete opposite end of Solidarity and until countries have a reasonable level of corruption the should simply not be allowed into EU.

    • Mista mann you don’t seem to know a lot about Greece. They shrug, and say what can we d0, because what can they do. Do you want them to brake down crying. Albanians and Bulgarians are cheaper than Greeks, that is why they are hired. The unemployment is the highest because of the measures Troikia imposed. Factory have left to cheaper countries. Not because Greeks are lazy, I am sure you have seen they work the most hours in europe. Get your facts right.

  11. Wolfie is a bitter old man who lost his shot at being either Chancellor or President when he got caught lying about improper donations he received from a former German arms lobbyist, and has never really forgotten that it was that scandal that delivered the party leadership and German Chancellorship to Angela Merkel.

    His nasty sniping at Mr Varoufakis is no different than his bitter public sniping at his former mentor, Helmut Kohl, when it looked like the corruption in the Kohl government, of which Wolfie was number two, was going to bring Wolfie down as well. As it was, Wolfie could not lie or snipe his way out of the consequences of the scandal, and ultimately resigned as party chairman, opening the door for a reformist Merkel.

    In short, Wolfie’s current self-serving, disloyal behavior towards his party’s leader, nastiness towards Mr Varoufakis for exposing the sham austerity Wolfie authored and worships, and nastiness towards Greece in general is nothing new. The leopard has in no way changed his spots.

    You have to read well into this article in Speigel Online, but it is well worth doing so.

    Hopefully, Wolfie will once again resign, as was the case in 1999. Angela Merkel knew he lied back then and was more than happy to let Wolfie go down in flames for the betterment of Germany (and herself). Perhaps she will do an encore now for the betterment of Europe (and herself)? I little bit of history repeating itself would be refreshing in this case.

    I wonder, does Wolfie want a German-led EU or a Schauble-led EU? And does he feel any of the other countries should have a say in the creation either?

  12. The comment “I support a German-led Europe” says it all……….. Now where have we heard that, or similar before ! ?

  13. Goodbye Mr Schaeuble and good riddance. You are a dangerous man for all of the EU, including Germany. Now maybe we may get down to real business.
    Mista Mann: Nobody is blaming the German people. The Eurogroup are members of European Governments with Chancellor Merkel at the head, and nobody can deny this fact.

    Hopefully Greece will succeed in turning around the rotten and inhumane road Europe has been on for so many years… Let’s get back to societies of neighbours….

  14. Just caught it. April Fools. How cruel to raise our hopes KTG. How very cruel. Are not the actions of the Troika enough pain to be suffering? 😉