The Greek elections of May (not the recent ones in June) 2012 showed the great dangers that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her neo-con & neo-liberal colleagues had been cooking up for Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the rest of the Eurozone.
The Greek elections, held in the wake of European-wide May Day marches against overemphasizing austerity, on in early May saw the rise of many nasty political parties that Germany does not want to see rise again in power on her continent. These parties were going to make the Republikaner types of 1980s Germany (or the current NDP) look like peaceniks.
I am happy to say that the Greek electorate cooled down enough in June 2012 to throw many of these newly elected parties and their members out of office again. However, the message to Germans, especially German bankers and the German Chancellor that Germany's-business-as-usual approach in bullying its weakest neighbors into bad austerity decisions is a no-go.
Sadly though, it is not clear to me that Chancellor Merkel has learnt much from her own countries' (2 countries= the modern united Germany and the former Democratic Republic of "Eastern" Germany) poltical development over the past decades. This is the reality that the ostrich-like chancellor and the German bankers and financiers have too-long ignored, i.e. concerning the political economic realities of the world and Europe. In short, German, too was a kind of basket case only a decade ago--when it began to return to its anti-immigrant and anti-European roots, which Hitler and others had exploited so well. Fortress Germany and Fortress Europe were the destination or mode that the German electorate had moved into by 2000-2003, when Germany (along with France) first broke the EU agreements that Greece has been breaking ever since.
The basic fact is, however, that the now-defunct East Germany, i.e. the place where Merkel was raised, ran for decades without having to fall back on laisse-faire capitalism's fascination with austerity: That is, as the solution to gaining improved living standards. A demand economy was used in the "DDR". It was also used to some degree in socialist Western Germany as well over the decades. Both the states and the federal government in Western Germany supported such big government projects and interference.
Failing the successful employment of demand economic methods or instruments, the now-defunct East Germany was nevertheless able to continue onward producing and putting people to work through the importation of capital and investments from abroad to promote production and sales at home thorugh the 1970s and early 1980s. Some of these infusions came through subterfuge with the Western German state, banks and the winking of German officials in Bonn and on the walled borders of the land.
Finally, even when East Germany collapsed in 1990, it did so while maintaining the highest standards of living amongst the Eastern European states. Next, in the early 1990s (through the present day), major solidarity transfers of moneys were made from Western Germany and the European Union to what had been East Germany. These massive solidarity transfers were also aided by monies from major West German and Western European investors in the former "DDR".
If Greece, Portugal, Italy (or Ireland), and Spain are to be seen as today's sick men of the Euro Zone, it would behoove Angela Merkel to give the appropriate nod to her banks and homeland investors that whatever-can-be-done should-be-done--or at least attempted. In short, by continuing to live in her post-Communist delusion of political economics, the good chancellor should either be asked to leave office or to come to her senses.