Why Does Europe Still Want Greece?

Costs may be more than euro-zone members want to bear.

Love among the ruins.

Photographer: Christopher Furlong

So Greece and the rest of the euro zone have a deal. It turns out I was wrong last week when I suggested that after the referendum, the negotiations were down to two choices: The European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund would capitulate and offer better terms, or Greece would exit the euro. With marvelous ingenuity, Europe has charted a third course: Having put the matter to a referendum in which Greeks overwhelmingly voted not to agree to the tough conditions set down by Europe, the Greeks capitulated and agreed to much tougher conditions than the ones to which they had just given a heartfelt "oxi." This weekend's last-minute, ticking-time-bomb summit was a stinging rejoinder to anyone who believed that Greeks have no instinct for self-preservation, or that Germans -- who actually floated a proposal for a five-year Greek "temporary exit" from the euro -- have no sense of humor.

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