Things are getting tense in old Europe, as top politicians sense the clock is ticking on them.There’s a strong desire to get a deal done this week when leaders meat for a summit in Brussels.
As we pointed out yesterday, this has stopped being a Greek crisis: it’s a Germany crisis, because if there’s one country that’s not playing along, that’s it. (Greece, after all, could simply be solved temporarily with money. Germany, not so much.)
France and Spain called for a summit meeting of the 16 heads of state and government, to be held on Thursday, immediately before a full 27-state European Union summit in Brussels. But there was resistance in Brussels and Berlin to holding a meeting unless a successful outcome was in sight.
The German government said on Tuesday that no such deal would be agreed this week, saying Greece would have to show it was unable to raise money in international capital markets before it would be justified.
Germany is obviously playing a dangerous game, with its demand that Greece first has to show that it can not raise money before it will get any help.
Beyond that, Germany seems perfectly happy to let the union be undermined by the IMF:
Germany is also calling for “a substantial contribution” from the International Monetary Fund towards any Greek rescue, and demanding that negotiations begin on tough new rules to enforce future budget discipline in the eurozone, even if that means renegotiation of the Lisbon treaty.