Greek prime minister in Germany to garner support for bailout
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Steve Chiotakis: Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is in Germany today, talking with that country’s leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel. Greece has been besieged by a debt crisis that threatens its solvency — and threatens to spread. Germany is Europe’s biggest economy and is footing much of the Greek bailout bill.
The BBC’s Steve Evans joins us now from Berlin. Hi, Steve.
Steve Evans: Hello, good day to you.
Chiotakis: What are they talking about, the prime minister and the chancellor?
Evans: They are talking about the Euro Bailout and the plight of Greece, there’s no doubt about that. But what’s really happening is that prime minister Papandroeu is in Berlin making a sales pitch to the members of the German parliament who decide on Thursday whether give him the money for the bailout that’s already been agreed. So he’s come to Berlin and he’s telling anyone who cares to listen, “If you lend us the money, we will repay. We are not a poor economy, we are a poor economy, we are an economy which has been in the past badly managed.” So he’s here as part of a political exercise to convince lawmakers that their taxpayers money is safe in his hands.
Chiotakis: The people of Germany aren’t quite so convinced, we’ve heard for so long how average citizens, their feel about lending money to Greece and they’re not happy about it. But what about the business community there?
Evans: The business community is a little bit annoyed that Merkel hasn’t made the case for the euro more strongly. She’s been pulled two ways; she’s very committed to the Euro but at the same time her voters talk to her and her voters are skeptical. They saying, “We’re going in to an increasingly hard time, why are you giving our money away?”
Chiotakis: The BBC’s Steve Evans in Berlin, Steve, thank you.
Evans: You’re welcome.
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