Anti-austerity protests continue to fill the streets near the Greek parliament. Thousands turned out on Saturday, unimpressed with the second wave of cuts they will have to shoulder for billion of euros of fresh aid.
Ordinary Greeks are not the only people unimpressed with the bailout. With Germany likely to pay the lion’s share, Chancellor Angela Merkel has come in for some heavy criticism from within her own CDU party.
“And now let us, of course, try to collect a substantial contribution – on a voluntary basis – from private creditors. But you don’t do that out in the streets, or in press conferences, you do that decently by talks with all those who can contribute to this bailout plan,” she said at a party meeting.
Merkel’s repeated calls for private investors to take a haircut – that is less profit than they were originally promised on their investment when buying Greek government bonds – have been blamed by some for spooking investors and driving up the cost of the bailout.
Agreeing with the French to only make this voluntary has ensured euro zone unity, but German voters may see it as capitulation, and yet more bills to pay for profligate foreigners.