European impasse

The EU should channel its funds towards more productive ends

New Statesman
Merkel herds Samaras through the red carpet Photograph: Getty Images

 

The Euro saga carries on plateauing.

Merkel and Prime Minister Samaras of Greece held a joint press conference in Berlin today after convening to discuss Greece's next loan instalments. As reported by the Guardian, the press conference confirmed that the Merkel-Samaras meeting was, in true Eurocrisis fashion, fruitless.

On one hand, Samaras cemented his reluctant devotion to cutting €15bn in Greek expenditures within the next two years. He once again cited the need to promote growth alongside austerity. Addressing the "deficit in confidence" that plagues Greece, the prime minister criticised European leaders such as Volker Kauder (who said the grexit "would be no problem for the euro") for further destabilising the country.

Merkel, on the other hand, renewed her wish to keep Greece in the Eurozone, stating her confidence in Samaras' abilities to make the necessary adjustments. Regarding an extension of the deadline, however, the German Prime Minister announced that Germany would not "make premature judgements but will await the troika report" that is due mid-September.

Meanwhile, a German working group - led by the minister of finance - studies the economic impact of a "grexit". Here's a fun little infographic of what might happen if things sour in September.

In the meantime, I think European leaders should consider widening the austerity agenda to their interactions.