German Media React Angrily to Greek Bailout Deal

German media backlash over Greece
German Chancellor Angela Merkel walks after a welcome ceremony in front of the common institutions building in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, July 9, 2015. Antonio Bronic/Reuters

A fierce backlash to the deal thrashed out over the weekend between Greece and its creditors has begun in Germany's media, with concerns being raised that the German government has "destroyed seven decades of post-war diplomacy on a single weekend".

Details have begun to emerge about the gruelling 17-hour EU summit which took place in the office of the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and was attended by French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras over the weekend. The talks resulted in all sides agreeing to a third bailout package for Greece early on Monday.

According to The Times, Tsipras was only allowed to leave the room to make calls to Athens, and the FT reported that Tusk at one point told Tsipras and Merkel: "There is no way you are leaving this room until we agree." One EU diplomat reportedly described the prolonged talks as: "The most brutal negotiations I have ever seen," adding: "There is an element of humiliation especially coming from Germany."

Fears about how the deal will effect's Germany's reputation in Europe have been echoed in some sections of the country's media.

The centre-left daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung wrote that Merkel "has managed to revive the image of the ugly, hard-hearted and stingy German that had just begun to fade".

"The German government destroyed seven decades of post-war diplomacy on a single weekend," news website Spiegel Online remarked. Spiegel described the final deal as a "catalogue of cruelties".

"Every cent of aid to Greece that the Germans tried to save will have to be spent two and three times over in the coming years to polish that image again," the editorial continued.

The left-leaning Taz newspaper wrote that in some European countries, "they're outraged by the authoritarian and egotistical behaviour of the Germans".

A satirical video featuring two German comedians mocking Germany's hardline stance in the Greek debt negotiations has gone viral, attracting over one million hits on YouTube.

Titled "Our precious German euros", a pair of wealthy Germans conduct a telephone conversation in separate hotel rooms, based on speeches made by Merkel and various German tabloid newspaper headlines. At one point, one of the comedian shouts: "Sell your islands, you broke Greeks, and the Acropolis too!"

The video ends with the tagline: "This summer, we Germans have a historic opportunity - not to behave like assholes for once."

Despite a YouGov poll from earlier this month showing that Germans still take a hard line on the Greek crisis, with the majority of those surveyed agreeing that European countries should insist on the original terms of the loans, a softening of attitudes was also revealed, with a fall in the number of Germans who want Greece to leave the euro between June and July of this year.

A popular hashtag that criticised the terms of the deal, #ThisIsACoup, was the second top trending hashtag on Twitter worldwide on Monday and the top trending hashtag in Germany.

Yet the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, renowned for his tough stance in the bailout negotiations has had his highest-ever approval rating in Germany, with 70% of Germans saying they approve of the job he is doing, according to Bloomberg.