Will Germany cave in to the demands of Greece's anti-austerity parties?

The two countries are butting heads over Greece's refusal to comply with the terms of its financial bailout, and it's unclear which side will blink first

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
(Image credit: AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

In the aftermath of watershed elections this month, Greece's splintered political system is struggling to form a ruling coalition. The main obstacle is Syriza, a fringe party that rode to an unprecedented, second-place finish on a wave of popular anger against the government's harsh austerity programs, which have plunged Greece into its fifth year of a devastating recession. The European Union and the IMF had demanded that Greece put austerity measures in place in exchange for hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout funds. Syriza's leader, Alexis Tsipras, says that the bailout terms are a form of "financial barbarism," and that Greece will not abide by them. Germany, the EU's largest economy, is putting down its foot, saying that Greece's lifeline will be cut off if it doesn't follow through. Something has to give if Greece is to remain in the eurozone. Will Germany cave in to Tsipras' demands?

Germany might just wash its hands of Greece: Germany is "exasperated" with Greece, and is "close to concluding that the insolvent country is a lost cause following more than two years of a roller-coaster debt crisis," says Ian Traynor at Britain's The Guardian. High-level German officials for the first time are even speaking "publicly of the possibility of the Balkan country having to quit the eurozone." Tsipras' "inflammatory comments" are not helping to bridge the gap, and "patience in Europe is running out."

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