It’s not just Tsipras who’s taken over from Varoufakis… Merkel has taken over from Schäuble

Although the news media are largely ignoring a major new development in the Greek debt crisis – and most of the Greek media are playing it straight as a demotion for Varoufakis – the truth is that Angela Merkel has played a bold power-stroke. She has affirmed that she alone will finalise whatever deal emerges from the Troika/Athens negotiations direct with Alexis Tsipras….in much the same way as she moved to direct talks with Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine debacle.

Ekathimerini wrote this morning of anger in the Syriza camp at Varoufakis’s return from Riga empty-handed, but the truth is as usual more complicated. At Riga, Wolfgang Schäuble openly orchestrated concerted attacks upon Varoufakis….who is, in my view, a self-important man prone to monologues – but more of an economist than any of the soi-disant ‘finmins’ who were in the room with him. At the same time, they wanted his total capitulation, and Yanis simply did not (quite rightly) have either the mandate or the desire to do any such thing.

The reality is that Alexis Tsipras has pulled off a major coup in getting Merkel’s undivided attention, whereas Wolfgang Schäuble is now politically isolated from real power in Merkel’s Chancellery circle.

Lees dit artikel van John Ward verder op The Slog