In a time when people wrote in autograph books and not on Facebook walls, one sentence from the 18th- and 19th-century German poet Matthias Claudius became immortalized: "Say not all that you know, but know all that you say." That would be a good lesson for those politicians who are handling the euro crisis. Absolute honesty, which many are now demanding of the German government after its most recent comments on Greece, is simply not wise.
Of course politicians should not lie or twist the facts. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has been guilty of the latter over the last week. First he stated publicly what many have long accepted as obvious -- that Greece will need a third bailout package. Amid the ensuing uproar, Schäuble defended himself with the following words: "The German government states what it knows at each point in time."