Reflections

A Less Strident Battle Brews Over Greece

May 19, 2016 | 22:25 GMT
The interests of International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde (l) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the issue of Greek debt relief diverge, a difference that could lead to another Grexit crisis this summer.
(JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

It may not have the same fireworks as the 2015 version, but the summer of 2016 could yet bring its very own Grexit crisis. This one will feature many of the same players as its predecessor, though in some cases, they will have changed roles. In the 2015 iteration, Germany, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund joined forces to stare down a recalcitrant (and highly indebted) Greece. At stake were the terms under which Athens would receive money to pay off the loans it took to bail out its faltering economy. The crisis unfolded while France, Italy and the European Commission counseled leniency from the sidelines. A year later, Greece is no longer rebelling. In fact, the very same government that resisted austerity measures is willingly taking its medicine in the shape of stringent reforms. But as so often happens after a victory, former allies are now fighting...

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