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On March 18 the White House issued a brief statement, titled “Readout of the President’s Call with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.”

The announcement had seven lines of text. Six of them referred to the crisis in Ukraine. The remaining pertained to Greece. One needed to be attentive to spot the Greek reference.

Despite its brevity, however, it was not lacking in importance. And the point is that, once again, America has intervened in Greece’s favor.

Specifically the announcement said : “They also reviewed recent developments in Greece and efforts to reach a pragmatic agreement that builds upon recent reforms to return the country to growth within the euro area.”
Within these few words, the two countries’ positions are found with regard to Greece.

Let us consider that press release more closely: First, we see that the two leaders exchanged views on “recent developments” in Greece.

Namely, how the situation has developed following the rise of Alexis Tsipras to power, and the problems that have emerged in Greece’s relations with other European states. Topics that obviously trouble Greece’s partners.

For its part, the U.S. expressed the need for a “pragmatic” agreement. However, this word, pragmatic, is one that contains more meaning than the word “realistic” – which has been used to describe the situation as of late.

While “pragmatic” incorporates the concept of realism, it also contains the meaning of quantitative and temporal constraints. In other words, President Obama reportedly told Merkel not to make impossible requests, a position that is very close to Tsipras’ thinking.

On the other hand, Merkel emphasized the need for reforms. But both agreed that Greece should stay “within the Euro area.” And that is the crucial point.

In practice, therefore, we have Obama’s third intervention with Merkel – at least as far as we know – in support of Greece remaining in the Eurozone. And as in the previous cases, it happened at a critical moment, just before decisions were to be made.

Of course, there are limits when it comes to this situation – and tolerance. That is why Merkel will push hard for reforms. Because that is what would enable Greece to stand on its feet.

Source: The National Herald
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