The Germans are the anchor of the European financial system. They will act.They have been slow to.
The reason that the Germans are so reluctant is because the chancellor has state elections coming up on the ninth of May. This [Greek bailout] is hugely unpopular — about 80 to 90 percent of Germans oppose a bailout. The reason is the Germans are traditionally frugal, hardworking, and that is not exactly the German perception of the Greeks.
I’ll give an example. The retirement age in Germany is 67. In Greece it’s ostensibly 65 — 60 if you are a woman. However, if you work in any of the hardship jobs, a long list of them, there is a ten-year earlier retirement.
It’s not just the coal mining. It includes radio announcers, musicians, and hairdressers.
I chose the wrong profession. If I had been a Greek hairdresser, I would now be on an island in the Aegean drinking ouzo.