Insight: The power brokers with Europe's fate in their hands: Jens Weidmann
THE EDITOR: NIKOLAS BLOME
Nikolas Blome is one of the most powerful journalists in Europe. Chief political correspondent and deputy editor of Bild, continental Europe's most widely read daily newspaper, he commissions stories that attract some 12 million readers.
Few newspapers have been as influential in shaping German public opinion as the tabloid-style Bild, which has run inflammatory headlines and colorful front page articles about Greek waste and corruption that are deeply skeptical of Europe's rescue attempts.
"Greece is one of the most important issues we've dealt with in the last couple of years and because it affects the euro it's an issue that touches everyone," said Blome, 48, who defends his conservative political views in a weekly TV talk show.
He bristled at the suggestion that Bild has tackled Greece harder than other newspapers in Germany. "It's not just a topic for Bild newspaper. It's a topic for every newspaper."
Bild began reporting extensively about Greece early, running heavy coverage two years ago that some analysts say reinforced the German government's initial reluctance to intervene in the country's meltdown.
For Germans who have seen many of their social welfare benefits scrapped in a decade of belt-tightening, stories about Greek tax dodgers and pensions paid for years to dead people were incendiary. Bild's articles stoked public anger in Germany and fuelled taxpayer opposition to big bailout cheques.
"We were skeptical from the very start. The essential problem is that new multi-billion euro rescue packages are only short-term help. In my mind the problem won't be fixed with constant rescue programs," Blome said.
The paper, he said, has a "clear editorial consensus that Greece is not going to be rescued the way this is going and that it should probably leave the euro zone at least for the time being. Greece needs a currency devaluation, a new currency, a new drachma. That's the fastest and best way to restore the country's competitiveness. That's a view shared by everyone at the paper." Continued...