Daily Archives: February 15, 2012

A woman walks past the Bank of Greece headquarters with a wall covered with graffiti, reading: "Rob to Get Money," in Athens on February  13, 2012. LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images

Louisa Gouliamaki for AFP/Getty Images

Want to know a little of how it feels to live in Greece today? This photo, taken in Athens on February 13, could be a good place to start. The headquarters of the Bank of Greece defaced, the logo replaced with ‘Bank of Berlin’; a blood-like splatter of red paint; a scrawl of caustic advice to Greek citizens confronting pay cuts and tax rises: Rob to Get Money”. And in the corner, a woman, who is presumably trying to get on with the everyday reality of her life.

As the country flounders under unsustainable debts and the increasingly shrill demands of international creditors, the Greek people are facing their fifth consecutive year of recession- and that is before the latest round of austerity measures have even been enacted.

How much more can they take?And how long before the rest of Europe concedes defeat in its battle to prevent the country from a messy default? Read more

Evangelos Venizelos, the Greek finance minister, has more or less accused Germany of trying to force Greece out of the euro. Is he onto something?

It depends which Germany you are talking about.

My impression from talking to policymakers in Berlin recently, and following the debate subsequently, is that different bits of the German government have different views on the matter. The Foreign Ministry and people around the chancellor seem keen to keep the Greeks in – for a mixture of political and economic reasons. The Finance Ministry is much more equivocal. Read more