Stock markets around the world fell sharply after news broke that Germany had forced Greece out of the Euro – creating fears that could lead to renewed turmoil in the financial markets over the use of the 4–2–3–1 formation by the German team. The FTSE-100 index of Britain’s major companies fell by two per cent to 5465, with bank shares hit particularly hard after Greece was awarded a penalty just before the final whistle.
Raising the spectre of further exits from the Euro by countries such as Italy, France and Spain, the German chancellor said “solidarity for the single currency” was threatened by the ongoing crisis in the Greek midfield and a lack of will in some other Euro countries to play the long ball instead of relying on passing and possession instead.
The cost of Spanish government borrowing also hit a record high after Greece unexpectedly drew level in the first half because of concerns that the crisis would spread if the game would have to go to extra time or even penalties.
Today, François Hollande, the new French president, will be sworn in and, in an indication of the concern gripping Europe, will almost immediately travel to Berlin to hold talks with Mrs Merkel that will be dominated by the increasing necessity to introduce goal-line technology to prevent further economic turmoil.
Meanwhile, there is increasing concern that Germany’s insistence on winning every game they play could affect England’s chances of making an economic comeback in the long run. In a statement, George Osborne, the Chancellor, explained the UK government’s concerns:
The very last chance we were counting on to turn things around was for England to win the Euro 2012 championships so everyone would forget what a complete pig’s ear I’ve been making of the UK economy, but now we’re due to meet Germany in the semis, it looks increasingly like we’re well and truly f***ed after all.
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