Germany, which supports Greece’s bailout loans, wants Greece to stick to austerity measures. The new Greek government says austerity has destroyed the economy.
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
Now let’s listen to the relationship in recent weeks. Greece says Germany’s insistence on austerity is destroying its economy. They will talk about it when they meet in Berlin today. Joanna kakissis is from Athens.
JOANNA KAKISSIS: Christos Katsioulis is the son of a Greek father and a German mother. Outside Stuttgart, he moved to Athens three years ago to open the office of the Friedrich Ebert foundation, a German think-tank.
CHRISTOS KATSIOULIS: this is to strengthen the dialogue between the two countries and build a network between the two countries.
Kakisi: but the relationship between the two countries – Europe’s largest economy and the smallest – has hit a new low in recent weeks.
KATSIOULIS: now, I think in both countries, in Greece and Germany, we are dealing with the growing interdependence of Europe through the return of cheap nationalism.
Cassius: this nationalism sometimes becomes very personal. Avgi, a subsidiary of the leftist Syriza party in Greece, recently published a cartoon depicting the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, as camp commander. At the same time, the German tabloid Mr Turd declared that the so-called greed Greece should not have more money.
(voice of a TV show, “GUNTHER JAUCH”)
GUNTHER JAUCH :(speaks German).
Kachis: last week, German media spent two days discussing whether the Greek finance minister, wanifakis, criticized Germany in a speech in Croatia two years ago. Katsioulis was outraged.
KATSIOULIS: instead of focusing on the real problems between Greece and Germany, we are focusing on the common European problems we have at hand, rather than focusing on what the person or others have said in the past.
Cassius: the past has had a profound effect on Greece. Vasso Vuvali lost her business during the crisis and supported the Greek government’s efforts to secure compensation for the German occupation of Greece during world war ii.
VASSO VUVALI :(speaking Greek).
“We have to pay back our debt,” she said. “But the germans should also pay their debts.” But Alexis tsipras, the Greek prime minister, said Greece would not pay unless the eurozone ended its austerity measures. Economist Elena papadopulo says this is something germans don’t want to hear.
ELENA PAPADOPOULOU: when you try to blame the messenger, it means you don’t feel like you have something to change. To achieve the same goal, we need to understand what is happening in Europe, and we need to work hard to correct it.
Kasich: German chancellor Angela merkel says she wants Greece to stay in the eurozone, and if the euro fails, the eu will fail. For NPR news, I’m Joanna kaczynski from Athens.