Angela Merkel’s “hesitation” during the decade of the Greek debt crisis was characterized by then European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, in an interview with Euronews, as the most important mistake made by the German Chancellor during her 16 years of rule.
An experienced politician from Luxembourg admits: “I had conflicts with her, big disagreements, especially on the issue of Greece. She explains this by the fact that the Germans, her parliamentary group and the press do not respect the dignity of the Greek people, so I told her that Greece is different from the image that she had about this country. ”
Juncker admits that he managed to convince Merkel to do it on his own, despite his best efforts. He managed to succeed only with two very important “allies”, among which the then French President François Hollande is mentioned, as well as his own Minister of Finance [Вольфганг] Schäuble, who was a good friend and at the time was known as a very pro-European person. “
The ex-president of the EC adds that although Mr. Schäuble preferred Greece’s temporary exit from the eurozone, he “was an ardent opponent of this idea.” While Merkel “never shared Schäuble’s point of view, she also never denied the usefulness of the idea. However, in the end he saw them in person and felt that this would lead to problems with Italy and other PIGS countries. ”
Based on this data, Mr. Juncker states to Euronews: “I think it was Ms. Merkel’s greatest mistake that she hesitated during the Greek crisis, and because of her unwillingness, we wasted time. Greece could have been helped earlier. “