And it is not all German money. It is all to prove that the Euro itself is not a failed idea. Angela Merkel said there was no alternative to the bailout. What does that say?
Obviously, there was no alternative for Merkel and Germany as the Euro was the construct of German Progressives and Germany is stuck with the Euro (for now). Germany committed itself to a bad idea but it has worked for Germany industry.
It has not worked so well for ordinary Germans.
Most Germans were dead set against giving up the German Mark. The DM was an amazingly stable currency and it was inconceivable to most Germans that it was to be given up for a currency that would tether Germany to countries such as Italy and Greece. Today, most Germans are still against the Euro. Too bad for them.
The Greeks had one hell of a party with the Euro. They lied about their being ready to join the Euro. They were not ready. They covered up their true situation and probably still are. So many numbers have been bandied about as to what this will cost, and with each passing week the number has gone up.
Tough times ahead for Greece's Prime Minister Papandreou? Oh yea. The Greek unions are already rioting in the streets and calling a national strike to protest the fact that they have to give anything up. The socialist mobs like spending German money and have built their unsustainable life style on it. The trouble is, it is now IMF money propping up Greece and that is American money, money we do not have to throw around.
A lesson here? Oh yea again. Progressive German politicians, big business and big banks ignored the majority wishes of the German people constructing the Euro. Greek socialists created a majority class of people that take more from the system than they put in. Sound familiar? It smells familiar, the whiff of the wildly popular Obama Eau de Cologne. It smells great when first put on, but lingers and decays to something far less happy to the nostrils.
ECONOMY | 02.05.2010 DW
Eurozone agrees unprecedented multi-billion euro bailout for Greece
Eurozone finance ministers have endorsed a record 110-billion-euro bailout for Greece. The aid package requires that Athens implement tough austerity measures.
Eurozone finance ministers, in an emergency session on Sunday, approved a loan package to save Greece from defaulting on its debt. Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker said a total of 110 billion euros ($146 billion) would be spread out over three years. Up to 30 billion euros will be ready to be disbursed in 2010.
Euro states are expected to give 80 billion euros while the rest is to be provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
It is by far the largest bailout ever assembled for a country.
Juncker announced a fresh EU summit for May 7 to officially approve the bailout. He stressed the help for Athens was conditional on the Greek government implementing strict financial reforms.
He also said that at Germany's insistence, all ministers would discuss with their national banking sector the possibility of voluntary bank contributions to the aid package.
EU President Herman Van Rompuy welcomed the agreement.
"I am convinced that this sound and ambitious program will enable Greece to put right its economic and financial situation as well as its competitiveness," he said in a statement.
In exchange for financial aid from both the EU and the IMF, Athens has promised further austerity measures to get the country's budget back into shape.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said the he would "do anything to avoid the country going bankrupt."
"It is an unprecedented support package for an unprecedented effort by the Greek people," a somber Papandreou, wearing a dark purple tie, the color used for funerals in Greece, told a televised cabinet meeting.
EU Commissioners for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn welcomed Athens' latest austerity efforts as a "very convincing and comprehensive program."
US President Barack Obama told Papandreou in a telephone interview late on Sunday that he welcomed Greece's ambitious reform programs and the support from the EU and the IMF.
Germany's Merkel backs bailout
Much of Sunday's talks depended on the attitude of Germany, which is expected to foot the largest chunk of the bill - around 22 billion euros.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been hesitant about rushing aid to Greece because it is unpopular among Germans.
On Sunday however, Merkel got fully behind the measure, calling the Greek austerity program very ambitious and saying there was no choice but to save Greece.
"I think this is the only way we can restore the stability of the Euro," Merkel said. "I'm going to work for the Greece program and its passage."
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the German cabinet would meet Monday to work on a draft legislation for the aid. He said the bill would then be approved in the German parliament by Friday.
To ensure the stability of the euro, Schaeuble told German public television ARD late on Sunday, "we, as well as the German people and the taxpayer, have to take on this difficult decision [to approve the aid deal]."
He also warned Greece that "the smallest deviation [from the austerity plan] would have consequences, that much is clear," he told ARD.
Widespread protests across Greece
But Athen's plans for painful wage and pension cuts have already triggered widespread protest in Greece with unions planning a nationwide strike on Wednesday.
The austerity measures are deeply unpopular in Greece
The fresh round of cuts aims at saving 30 billion euros ($40 billion) over the next three years with civil servants and pensioners bearing the brunt of the effort.
"These sacrifices will give us breathing space and the time we need to make changes," Papandreou said, defending the measures.
"I want to tell Greeks very honestly that we have a big trial ahead," he said.
Editor: Nigel Tandy