Battle in Europe Intensifies

A day after Alexis Tsipras became prime minister of Greece, the euro region hardened its rhetoric.  Germany and the Netherlands led warnings to the new anti-austerity Greek government about rolling back budget cuts meant to get spending under control. The two countries pressed Tsipras to endorse the fiscal tightening that underpins the 240 billion-euro ($272 billion) aid program for Greece.

“Germany bears no responsibility for what happened in Greece,” Volker Kauder, the parliamentary caucus leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, told reporters in Berlin on Tuesday. “The new prime minister must recognize that.”

The harder line points to the looming conflict between Greece’s biggest creditors and a prime minister emboldened by a decisive victory. He swept aside a ruling coalition of two parties that have dominated Greek politics for the past 40 years and which together endorsed German-backed budget austerity.


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