The World’s Clark Boyd followed this story throughout Tuesday. See his final report, as heard in the broadcast, here.
Previous Updates: (12 p.m.)
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is in Germany pleading his case for a bailout. In a speech, he told a group of German businessmen that it wasn’t just a rescue, but “an investment to move Greece to the future.”
Papandreou also hailed Greece’s “superhuman” efforts to cut its debt levels.
The prime minister is in Germany for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss his country’s progress in cutting its budget deficit.
Papandreou said the current debt crisis provided a “unique opportunity to launch important reforms that Greece badly needs to become competitive again.”
UPDATE: (1:35 p.m.)
Germans do not appear to be in a giving mood right now. The economy is strong, there’s a trade surplus, and unemployment is low. They want it to stay that way, and think that giving the Greeks billions of Euro isn’t necessarily the way to do that.
But not everyone agrees. “Germany seems to think that it can drink from the well, but it never has to put anything into it,” says Peter Morici, an economics professor at the University of Maryland. Instead of helping the Greeks, Morici says the Germans are “giving them lectures in Teutonic austerity.”
“Essentially the Germans are saying, ‘Buck-up,’ and march through the Great Depression again.”
UPDATE: (2:40 p.m.)
CLARK BOYD: I also spoke today with Johan Van Overtveldt, author of a forthcoming book called “The End of the Euro.”
He told me that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s in a tough spot. European politicians here in Brussels criticize her for not getting Germans to understand the importance of taming Greece’s debt problem. But at the same time, her party has been on the losing end in several regional elections in the past month.
Overtveldt says those electoral losses are “expressions of public sentiment that Germany is much too lax towards Greece and other countries which Germans consider to be over-spending countries.”