Is Greece’s fate in the hands of Angela Merkel? One leading economist with close ties to Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis says that the primary obstacle to compromise is a dramatic division within the German government, with one faction demanding that Greece fully adhere to its previous commitments, and another powerful group advocating compromise.
“It’s all up to Merkel,” says James Galbraith, who spent seven days in mid-February at Varoufakis’ side in Brussels and Athens. “We’ve heard from her finance minister, who takes a negative stance, and from her vice chancellor, who wants to talk. The person we haven’t heard from is Merkel. We know she does not talk until needed. They are as tough as possible, then make one concession at the last minute so they don’t have to make two.”
Galbraith summarizes Merkel’s dilemma—and the best hope for an agreement—with one fundamental question: “Does Merkel want to be…
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