Signs say Greek crisis may be easing

Stephen Beard Mar 5, 2010
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Signs say Greek crisis may be easing

Stephen Beard Mar 5, 2010
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Steve Chiotakis: The Greek prime minister, George Papandreou, is in Berlin today, meeting with German officials. He’s seeking help from the stronger German economy to bolster troubled Greek finances. Now for weeks, investors around the world have been worried Greece could default on its debt, which could rock the global economy. Marketplace Europe correspondent Stephen Beard reports signs today are the crisis may be easing up.


Stephen Beard: Investors are betting that Germany will help Greece. They’ve just snapped up more than $6 billion worth of new Greek government bonds. That shores up the public coffers and reduces the danger of default.

But analysts in Berlin say investors are getting ahead of themselves. They say Angela Merkel won’t offer any specific support when she meets the Greek leader today. She’ll want to see real, deep cuts in Greece’s public spending first.

Commentater Heinz Shulte says feelings run very high on this issue in Germany:

Heinz Shulte: If the chancellor in Germany tried to bail out Greece without the conditions attached, she will have a very serious domestic problem in Germany. It could bring about the fall of the coalition government.

But Germany has much to lose from a default by the Greek government. It could trigger a series of defaults across southern Europe. And that would be bad for German banks. They have lent the region more than a quarter of a trillion dollars.

In Berlin, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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