Angela Merkel's visit to Athens was short, lasting just a few hours, and it came late: The Greek debt crisis has been raging for three years now. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras greeted the German chancellor warmly, but quite predictably tens of thousands of Greeks protesting in the streets told her she wasn't welcome. So why did she come, and what did her visit achieve?
Mrs. Merkel has tied her political fate to the survival of the common currency. "If the euro fails, Europe will fail," she keeps repeating in every speech she gives about the eurocrisis. With general elections in Germany less than a year away, the chancellor needs some progress in the solution of this crisis, but a Greek sovereign default and subsequent exit from the eurozone would be a huge setback for her.