Buoyed by a Bundestag vote in which she secured the support of 80% of Germany’s MPs, Angela Merkel went on to attend the Brussels summit to find a solution to the Greek problem.

However, the decision taken by the summit had already been announced, almost point by point, by the Chancellor before the German parliament. Apparently, she did not even take into account the views expressed by other European leaders. It is as though there were no other players in Europe.

Of course, everyone knows that Germany is the strongest player. Everyone knows that its opinion has more weight than the others. But it cannot always have the last word. Because in politics, you cannot apply the same rules as in football: otherwise we will arrive at a situation where “in the end, Germany always wins,” as one former English footballer put it.

Merkel does as she pleases

The way things are going now, politics and football have switched sides in this dichotomy: because in football, Germany often loses, whereas in Europe, they always succeed in imposing their opinion. And in so doing, they have not met with any opposition.

Even the French president has been roundly criticised by his national press for supporting the German position. Other leaders, like Luxembourg’s Prime Minster Jean Claude Juncker, have voiced concern over Germany’s hegemony.

However, none of this has served any purpose. Chancellor Merkel does as she pleases. With regard to Greece, she has imposed a solution that entails a 50% devaluation of sovereign debt, and far-reaching structural reforms including a number of key austerity measures.

No positive future

This is what has been exchanged for the gift of restructuring. Even if Merkel says that she has “respect” for the sacrifices accepted by the Greeks, it will not change the reality of austerity for Greece, or other countries that are in now trouble – and these include Italy, even if Berlusconi has been shy to admit it.

Greece, like every other country in the eurozone, is now at the mercy of Germany. When major decisions are under discussion, and, at the end of the day, they are imposed by a single country that is determined not to give in no matter what the consequences, the others are necessarily obliged to back down.

If the situation continues with no other country being allowed to express its point of view, there will be no positive future in Europe especially for small countries, which are the weak links in the chain.