“I’m very, very sad,” says Aris Meliadis. “The situation is unbearable.”
We are in a dimly lit community centre in East Berlin where Aris conducts weekly rehearsals with his choir of Greek and German singers. All around us people are shuffling sheet music and preparing to practise.
Aris says that he’s trying to do what he can do improve the relations between Germany and Greece.
“It saddens me extremely. Greece was my first home and Germany is my second. Both belong to the house of Europe. It’s completely without reason that we’re in this situation.”
It’s tempting to wonder whether Angela Merkel agrees. At her invitation, the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet with her today in Berlin.
She’s already playing down expectations, saying there’s still “a very tough path ahead”.
“I’m looking forward to his visit,” she told parliament last week. To laughter from the chamber she added: “We will have time to talk to each other, perhaps also debate.”
While the meeting is interpreted here as an attempt to set a new conciliatory tone, relations between Greece and it’s largest creditor could hardly be worse.
The German finance minister announced last week that Greece “has destroyed all trust”. Wolfgang Schauble has also acknowledged that Greece could “accidentally leave the Eurozone”.