WSJ - Obama has a better understanding of economics and democracy than Merkel. Took him 6 years to grow a spine, but look what he's up to now:
President Barack Obama expressed sympathy for the new Greek government as it seeks to roll back its strict bailout regime, saying there are limits to how far its European creditors can press Athens to repay its debts while restructuring the economy.
“You cannot keep on squeezing countries that are in the midst of depression. At some point there has to be a growth strategy in order for them to pay off their debts to eliminate some of their deficits,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria aired Sunday.
He said Athens needs to restructure its economy to boost its competitiveness, “but it’s very hard to initiate those changes if people’s standards of livings are dropping by 25%. Over time, eventually the political system, the society can’t sustain it.”
It's nice of him to give Merkel a basic education in economics and democracy. I mean, she comes from the GDR, and they didn't exactly teach anything about economics and democracy in the schools over there. Not that she would have taken it anyway: she studied chemistry.
He goes on:
“More broadly, I’m concerned about growth in Europe, ” he added. He said fiscal prudence and structural changes are important in many eurozone countries, but “what we’ve learned in the U.S. experience...is that the best way to reduce deficits and to restore fiscal soundness is to grow. And when you have an economy that is in a free-fall there has to be a growth strategy and not simply the effort to squeeze more and more from a population that is hurting worse and worse.”
Again, squeezing more and more from a population that is hurting worse and worse is a viable strategy in a communist command economy, so no wonder Merkel's in favour of it. And it's not as if the Soviet bloc was ever any good at economic growth.