Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg and leader of the eurozone finance ministers' group, made his comment whilst speaking to the German press. The Local
reported Junker criticized the way many Germans and some of the German press "talk about Greece in a way as if the people were not worthy of respect. That's not the case", before going on to claim some of the Greek press treat Merkel "as if she were the successor of the Nazis."
Juncker went on to warn "members of the eurozone to be careful in their dealings with each other."
In February Digital Journal
reported Greek journalist Yiorgos Trangas was fined €25,000 for calling Angela Merkel a "tart."
In April a Greek court dismissed defamation charges
against German magazine Focus over a doctored photo of the Venus de Milo statue making a lewd gesture, under the headline "Cheats in the European family," directed at Greece.
The ongoing "insults" traded between the Greek and German press has resulted in strained relations between the two countries which inevitably led to a fall in German tourism to Greece this year. However, Greeks angry at German imposed austerity measures, have made it clear their anger is directed at Greek and German government ministers, rather than German people.
Continual attacks on Greece in German newspaper Bild have contributed to the latest figure of 73 percent
of Germans wanting Greece will leave the euro. Presented as German taxpayers footing the bill for lazy Greeks, newspapers such as Bild fail to explain to their readers that the bulk of the EU bail-out loans to Greece is given to pay the interest on previous loans, thus going directly back into EU coffers.
The EU currently stands to make 37 bllion euros in interest payments from Greece, whilst ordinary Greeks are bled dry by continual cuts and higher taxes that profit the banks. With interest payments on top of the loans it is impossible for Greece to borrow its way out of debt.
Juncker went on to say that a Grexit
would be manageable but not desirable as "there would be significant risks, especially for ordinary people in Greece.”