As the Greek government battles to save itself from bankruptcy, the mood of mistrust has escalated into an outright war of words.
Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, likened Greece to a “bottomless pit,” openly questioning whether Greece would stick to its promises.
Greece’s President – an 82-year old veteran of the resistance to Nazi occupation during World War II – didn’t take kindly to that:
“I cannot accept Mr. Schaeuble insulting my nation. I cannot accept this as a Greek. Who is Mr. Schaeuble that he can insult Greece?”
Protests continued in Athens on Thursday after the Greek government said it had found a way to meet the EU and IMF’s requirements to secure a second bailout of 130 billion euros.
Greece says it can find a way to make further savings of 325 million euros and has signed a pledge to commit to the austerity measures, even if there’s a change of government at the next election in April.
Analysts say they’re watching closely to see what happens in the coming days.
Stefan Scharffetter is a trader with Baader Bank:
“Reactions to the Greece crisis are currently not as dramatic as they were a few months ago because people got used to it. A lot of the risks have already been taken into consideration by the markets and there is hope for a quick solution, which unfortunately has been delayed, putting the markets under some pressure.”
With the hours counting down and tensions escalating, the euro hit a three-week low on the dollar.
It’s been reported that finance officials in the currency union are looking at ways to delay all or part of the rescue deal while avoiding a default.