Weeks ago Angela Merkel said that she might not attend the Euro Cup soccer championship. While she’s a big football fan and knows that the German team might do quite well, she didn’t want to endorse the Ukraine’s treatment of Yuliya Tymoshenko. Quite right she was, too.
But now it turns out that Germany will play Greece on Friday in the Euro Cup tournament’s semi-final. So Merkel should now reverse her decision. She should go and take the opportunity to reset Germany’s dialogue with Greece.
Germany and Greece need to have an “Oprah moment.” Says the Urban Dictionary: an Oprah moment is “a defining point in time in which a person comes to some sort of revelation or truth about themselves.” For the two countries it’s time for some real talk.
They are like two squabbling siblings in a family with 17 children. A family that’s on holiday and has been traveling on a very, very long road trip. Cooped up together in the backseat for hours now, the resentments are running pretty deep. Everyone’s temper is starting to show. In fact, a less patient mother would’ve pulled the car over hours ago and warmed both of their behinds.
But, as Europe knows better than anyone, corporal punishment doesn’t really work.
Ultimately Germany and Greece want the same thing: for Greece to remain in the eurozone. If that is not a good basis upon which to start a discussion, then what is? Furthermore, the world economy is slowing and the last thing it needs is a spiral of doom that winds through 12 golden yellow stars on an azure background. Remember last year when U.S. politicians couldn’t agree on raising the debt ceiling and toyed with the possibility of default? Yeah. Not an example to follow.
Merkel should go to the quarterfinal on Friday and talk to her Greek counterpart. Tricky part is, regardless of the election’s actual outcome, it’s still far from clear who the Greeks want to represent them. Maybe they should just take a page out Sweden’s Twitter playbook.