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Germans Wary Of Wrong Result In Greek Election

(c) Sky News 2012

Germany, like the rest of Europe (Chicago Options: ^REURUSD - news) , will be watching the Greek elections closely with the knowledge that the wrong result could have an impact on their lives.

There is huge pressure on the German government to do more to help save the single currency, but Chancellor Angela Merkel knows that by doing so the German people might have to consider a decline in their living standards.

The question everybody here is asking themselves is: "How much is the euro really worth?"

"Up to a certain degree I can understand that Germany sends money to Greece but I think there have to be limits," a railway worker told Sky News.

"I don't know about the economic strength of Greece. I'm not sure if they will ever get out of their financial problems."

A factory worker we spoke to was more bullish: "I think we invest too much in Greece.

"I think the people who live here need the money more than the Greek people who are lazy and lie about in the sun. I mean, we should help these people too but only up to a certain degree. What we give to them could be given to people here without work and to companies so people don't lose their jobs anymore."

In the steel town of Duisberg we came across Dirk Potocnik. He works as a road sweeper and has an extreme view of Germany's place in the single currency. He wants to revert back to the deutschmark.

"In Germany we have so many people without work and yet we give billions of euros to Greece.

"With the euro things became worse. Everything became more expensive and we, the people who live here, still think in deutschmark even though we pay in euros."

It is very easy to assume that Germany could just use the money it so obviously has to save Greece, Spain and the euro but it is not as simple as that.

For all its comparative wealth, Germany couldn't do it alone. And even if it could, how much does it want to? 

Germany's affluence is hard-won. It got here by playing it safe and playing by the rules and its people don't want to give it up.

And it isn't a country without its problems, without poverty. Politics always plays its part.

It is worth remembering that Ms Merkel faces tough elections next year - any decisions she makes now will have a bearing on the overall result of those polls.

But one rival politician explained to us that the Chancellor isn't afraid to act in Europe's interests, only that she does so right at the last minute when all other options have run out.

It is not quite the final minute for the euro but time is certainly running out.

Maybe Ms Merkel will choose to act now, for the greater good and regardless of what her electorate think.