Thurday is my last day as Europe Editor at GlobalPost — I'm going to hand the reigns to Senior Editor David Case and get back to reporting, this time on the US.
But here at GP, the excellent coverage from our Europe correspondents will continue. Siobhan Dowling in Berlin, Paul Ames in Brussels and Barry Neild in London, along with a host of stellar freelancers, have done a remarkable job explaining the crisis as it unfolds day after day.
Since I began spearheading GP's coverage of Europe in February, the crisis has escalated, subsided and flared up again. Now, amid new instability in Greece, Europe feels like it's once again on the brink.
So where do we, as journalists, turn to understand what's happening?
It's important to read the news and keep up with sources — that's a reporter's job. But why not also get the dish straight from one of the key players?
On Twitter, @Angela_D_Merkel has been tweeting her thoughts on the crisis from the perspective of the German chancellor. She's identified in her profile as "Chancellor of Germany, Chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union, Member of the Bundestag, exasperated," and she doesn't mince words.
The tweets aren't from the real chancellor, of course, but they're what you might imagine she's been thinking as events have unfolded. For example, when Sarkozy lost Sunday's election to Hollande, @Angela_D_Merkel tweeted one word: Merde.
She then announced that she'd unfollowed him on Twitter.
She offers #merkelratings on everyone from DSK to her French counterparts. Here she is on May 2:
The parody was so spot-on that her account was suspended and the old tweets deleted this week. Luckily for us, it's been reborn as @Queen_Europe, with a bunch of disclaimers explicitly stating that it's a parody, presumably to comply with Twitter policy.
As the Greek politicians scrambled to form a new government, @Queen_Europe weighed in:
And when things get bad, she keeps it simple:
She has a lot of #tripleschnapps moments.
And it looks like there will be more ahead.
The Greek election on Sunday handed votes to all kinds of parties — including some neo-Nazis — making it nearly impossible to cobble together a government. If they fail, new elections will be held in June. That's also the month when Greece is supposed to implement yet more budget cuts, per its loan agreement with the EU and the IMF, which voters clearly oppose. Things don't look so good. A recent Bloomberg survey said that more than 50 percent of investors think at least one country will abandon the euro by the end of the year.
While some argue that fallout could be contained, others warn that the markets will just start betting on the next country to go — perhaps Spain, or Italy — which would obviously be much more than a #tripleschnapps disaster.
As certain doom looms (again), I'll leave the last words to the (fake) Merkel, who offers a bit of advice on how to get through the next few months:
So as we look forward I say, think European, buy German and invest freely in Greece, so long as your own money is not at risk. AMx