German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Athens came at an significant time for Greece. Her presence in the Greek capital’s confirms the spectacular rebound of the country’s international credibility and represents a vote of support.
Germany has made numerous promises over the past few years to help Greece get back on the path to growth but few have been carried through. Other than the symbolic and effectively futile presence in Greece of Merkel’s envoy for regional matters, Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, a string of commitments have foundered because of bureaucratic or accountancy problems, mainly on the German side.
Hopefully, following the chancellor’s visit, Berlin will act more decisively and efficiently, especially given Merkel’s admission that the period of austerity needs to end and emphasis be placed on growth.