Destinations Magazine

Firm Elder Statesman

By Stizzard
Firm elder statesman Not that way, Yanis, suggests Wolfgang (left)

AGED 72 and confined to a wheelchair since an assassination attempt 25 years ago, Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister, has the political energy of a younger man. In Washington this month for the IMF/World Bank meetings, he rushed from one podium to another. Everywhere the question was whether Greece will have to leave the euro. That is not up to him but to Athens, he notes, with a well-rehearsed shrug. But the omens are not good, he reckons, because the new far-left Greek government refuses to commit to the reforms previously promised in return for bail-outs. Nobody wants “Grexit”, he says. But if it comes, so be it.

Since late 2009 he has managed the euro crisis alongside his boss, Chancellor Angela Merkel. Mr Schäuble, who is impatient of foreign criticism, is convinced that his prescribed medicine for crisis countries—structural reforms and fiscal austerity—is working. Everywhere, that is, except in Greece since January, when Alexis Tsipras took over as prime minister and Yanis Varoufakis as finance minister (see…

The Economist: Europe

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