The summer of crisis, collapse and political disorientation is cancelled. Last night the EU leaders took steps which, though not a complete solution to the crisis, averted its escalation. Crucially Angela Merkel did what she had insisted was impossible: she made major concessions on short-term measures to ease the crisis without achieving the long-term quid-pro-quo German politics had dictated she must demand.
Athens: The waitress in the coffee bar gives me a smile now, on this fifth day of election coverage fuelled by – she knows the order - frappe, orange juice and a croissant. “Where are you from?” she asks. When I tell her England she says: “I want to work in your country.” “Well there is no shortage of coffee bars there,” I say. The smile leaves her face: “I’m a qualified midwife.”
Like nine million Greeks she’s casting her vote in a country that has dashed her expectations. The health system here is falling apart under the strain of spending cuts. The borders are porous. More than one in five adults is out of work.