May 17, 2010
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
GISELA and Susi, thirtysomething civil service secretaries, were shivering over their sausages in what the tabloids labelled the “most miserable May of the millennium” and planning their summer holidays. “I know where I’m not going,” one of them said. “The hotels, service and food aren’t as good as Turkey but the prices are as high as Italy!”
As Berliners bravely sat on the banks of the River Spree in unseasonably cold weather for the Ascension Day holiday that traditionally marks the start of summer, they had no doubt that the cold wind was blowing from the sunny south: Greece in particular.
The multi-billion-euro payout for Greece, followed by an even more expensive rescue package for the threatened single currency, has created the greatest political climate change in a generation.
Suddenly Germans are asking questions about the European project that has been the bedrock of their politics for 60 years, leaving Angela Merkel, the chancellor, under fire from the electorate, the opposition and her own party.