Le Monde | • Updated | By
Appearances can be deceiving. At first sight, Greece and the European Union can delight in the Bundestag vote on Friday February 27th. As expected, the four-month extension of the second aid plan in Athens was approved by an overwhelming majority of German deputies: 542 deputies voted in favor, 32 against. Before the session, 22 Conservative MPs (out of 311) had expressed their intention to vote against. But rarely has a vote as little enthusiastic after the tensions in Europe through the first steps of the government of Alexis Tsipras
From the beginning of his short speech. – Less than twenty minutes – the Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU), acknowledged that the decision to continue to assist Greece was “not easy to make,” . Rather than explain the agreement with Athens, the minister insisted he was not “to give more money to Greece” and “more time “. He recalled the role of Germany in the European construction. “After the disaster [Nazi], we Germans should do everything to ensure that the EU remains united. “ Finally, the Minister called on Greeks to responsibility. “We help Greece exceptionally, but must of course also do its part” he said, recalling that in several European countries, wages, social benefits and the level of living are lower than they are in Greece. “The Greeks are thinking when they invoke solidarity. (…) A common currency re quires that everyone is aware of its responsibilities. “
German and French banks” not serious “
First intervene following the Minister Gregor Gysi, president of the group of the left Radical Left Party, the main opposition party denounced “liberal Europe of failure” , and welcomed the arrival of a left government in Athens. Having called for a “Marshall Plan” for Greece, he explained that he was not “approve a neoliberal diktat” requiring Greeks that they always save more. He nevertheless supported the Wolfgang Schäuble text to support the new Greek government, the Left Party is allied to the formation of Alexis Tsipras, Syriza, the European Parliament.
Immediately after, Carsten Schneider, number two the Social Democratic group, put Alexis Tsipras Warning: “If the Greek government were to fund its election promises by taxpayers in other countries, it would not go. “
Anton Hofreiter, spokesman of the Greens, has criticized both banks ” German and French “ that have ” not serious “ in the past by paying money to Greece. He outlined the strategic role of Athens, explaining that for this reason too, it was not necessary that Greece exits the euro. A debate that his successor Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU) off right away: “We are not here to decide whether or not Greece should remain in the euro. “
Before the Conservatives Wolfgang Schaeuble had said on Thursday ” appalled “ by the statements of Giannis Varoufakis, his Greek counterpart, who spoke deletion of Greek debt. Similarly, about one Charlie Hebdo have been very badly perceived in Berlin. “If you think you’ve got to shoot progressive governments like ours, just days after being elected, so expect the worst! “ he threatened. In the same interview, the Greek finance minister seems willing to raise taxes nor the Orthodox Church nor those shipowners: “The problem is that the vast wealth it [l Orthodox Church] has not gives it a very high income that can be taxed, has justified the Minister. Finally, owners must indeed pay their fair share. But the implementation of such taxation is difficult: the owners are very mobile and it is likely that their incomes would leave the country if they were to be taxed. “
Atmosphere tinged populism
The Bundestag vote took place in an atmosphere tinged populism. Only 21% of Germans approved the extension of aid to Athens and 71% doubt that Athens will honor its commitments. Thursday, the newspaper Bild published a huge “no” to new aid to Greece, inviting its readers to make selfies displaying this page. This initiative, denounced by several members of the Bundestag, said slippage of part of the German media in 2010 and does not bode well for the debates that are sure to arise at the end of the four-month respite granted to Greece, if it is confirmed that she had to need a third bailout plan.
Besides, Friday Angela Merkel, who was wearing a bright yellow jacket, has seemed to follow the two-hour discussion with half an ear, unlike usual, often leaving his office to discuss this or that, as if the vote on Friday was just a formality and reserved for others more difficult deadlines.