The Agora


So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen Angela Merkel

Season 3, Ep. 4

The outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel was a ubiquitous figure during the Greek crisis, often making her a target for the frustrations generated by the austerity policies she and her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), advocated.

Some of that is water under the bridge now and her recent visit to Athens was accompanied by compliments and diplomatic niceties.

As she continues her farewell tour, before a coalition led by the Social Democratic Party (SPD) assumes power in Berlin, we look back at the legacy of Merkel’s rocky relationship with Greece, during which she dealt with six different Greek Prime Ministers, and where it leaves ties between Berlin and Athens.

Input comes from the head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s (KAS) office in Athens, Henri-Giscard Bohnet, and Christos Katsioulis, who was in charge of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation’s (FES) office in the Greek capital between 2012 and 2017, at the height of Greece’s economic crisis.

Useful links:

Konrad Adenaeur Foundation Office, Greece:

Friedrich Ebert Foundation Office, Greece:

More Episodes


The lives and legacy of Mikis Theodorakis

Season 3, Ep. 2
Earlier this month, Greece lost one of the most emblematic figures of its modern era, composer Mikis Theodorakis, who died on September 2 at the age of 96.Theodorakis was a multi-talented and multi-faceted figure who left his mark due to his radical politics and public interventions as well as his ground-breaking music, which blended Greek popular sounds with classic elements.On this show, we take a closer look at the influence of this prolific, towering figure. Phoebe Fronista speaks to Dr Panos Stavrianides, an entrepreneur, educator and active member of the Greek American diaspora about the impact Theodorakis’s music and political stance had on him and other Greeks living abroad.Also, Nick Malkoutzis speaks to Dimitris A. Sotiropoulos, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Athens and senior research fellow at the ELIAMEP think-tank, about what impact Theodorakis had on the public sphere and shaping modern Greece’s identity. Their discussion also touches on whether the composer’s passing marks the end of the public intellectual in Greece, and whether this matters.This episode also is interspersed with Theodrakis’s music, much of which is played by the Mandragoras group in Frankfurt, Germany and Achilleas and Nino Anastasiades.Mandragoras: and Nino Anastasiades: background on TheodorakisBBC documentary by Maria Margaronis: Mikis Theodorakis Remembered: Guardian obituary by Gail Holst-Warhaft:, a Greek for all by Nikos Konstandaras: