Merkel Softens on Greece

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a press conference to announce that her environment minister had been dismissed on May 16, 2012 at the Chancellery in Berlin. Merkel sacked Norbert Roettgen, following heavy losses of his conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in a key regional vote in North Rhine-Westphalia on May 13, 2012. Roettgen will be replaced by Peter Altmaier.     AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN        (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)

    Odd Andersen, AFP / Getty Images

    Typically the euro zone’s hard-line fiscal enforcer, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday night that she is committed to keeping Greece in the euro even if that means more stimulus for the ailing country. Merkel has been a firm advocate of austerity for the currency’s profligate nations, partially because of the political climate in her own country. But her tentative embrace of new growth policies signals a shift, possibly the result of the election of socialist François Hollande in France. Hollande, who campaigned on turning euro zone policy toward growth instead of austerity, met with Merkel for the first time Tuesday.

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