Both Merkel and Hollande know that Greece’s exit might incite more departures from the eurozone, but prefer to “save face” than to solve the debt problem.

Germany and France have opened the door to Greece to exit the euro zone and are now available to negotiate with Athens a solution to the crisis that sparked by Sunday’s referendum.

In their first public comments following the consultation and on the eve of the crucial extraordinary summit of the euro zone, French President Francois Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed on Monday to say that they respect the decision of the Greek people and that “the door is open” as they wait to hear the new proposals from Athens.

The partners and the ECB granted to Athens one last bullet: creditors want an ambitious plan on the table. Otherwise, they threaten to cut off the supply to the banks and precipitate a crisis of great caliber. That is because they think the table is leveled to their favor.

The proposals of the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, must now be “precise” demanded Merkel. “A program that the Greeks can keep for later.” It must be a “sustainable” plan, Hollande said, with “serious, credible proposals”.

In Paris, both leaders flatly rejected the idea of a mere extension of the plight of recent months and, on the contrary, want to agree to have a valid formula to stabilize Greece once and for all, but on the basis of a valid Greek formula.

The top leaders of the two great powers of the single currency are aware of the strength of Tsipras. Not only by the result of the consultation, but also because on Monday he won the support of the Greek political parties.

“We heard the message of all the Greek democratic parties, which have reaffirmed their willingness to stay in the eurozone,” said Hollande.

From this double respect to the Greeks and his prime minister, the messages of the French and German leaders were consistent, precise and brief. Merkel and Hollande began their speeches at the Elysee Palace with declarations of respect for the vote of the Greeks.

“We note and respect,” Hollande said. “It’s a vote of a democratic and sovereign country,” said Merkel a few minutes later. They also agreed on the urgency of Athens to present their proposals because there is “not much time left.

“There is urgency for Greece and for Europe,” said the French president. “It is urgent to have that proposal to find a way out,” said the chancellor.

That same message of strength and, at the same time of ultimatum, was heard before the vote, when both Merkel and Hollande tried to scare the Greeks so they would vote YES in the referendum.

The Vice-President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis said that the Greek referendum “widens the gap between Athens and its partners”, but left the door open to continue mediating to find a point of agreement.

The head of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem, bluntly stated that things “are difficult”. The ECB tightened on Monday the Greek banks access to emergency liquidity and finished shaping the European message to Tsipras as a way to choke the Greeks into submission.

Dijsselbloem said that Greece has to appear Tuesday in Brussels with an attractive proposition. Otherwise, there is no mandate to negotiate the third bailout and Greece could go bankrupt.

Berlin and Paris share that view: they probably are the parents of that position. But the French president and the German Chancellor made a solemn call of responsibility to al. Hollande said that everyone must find a balance between “solidarity and responsibility”.

“That balance is what should mark our course of action the next day.” Hollande said. Meanwhile, Merkel added that European countries have given already “much evidence of solidarity.”

“The last proposal we made was very generous,” argued the Chancellor, adding that now Greece must know the opinion from the other 18 members of the eurozone.

“It is necessary that everyone assumes its own responsibility. We do not know what he’ll say to each of the 18 countries. We share a currency and must be responsible and show solidarity.”

The scenario that the eurozone seems to not be contemplating is that if their conditions do not satisfy Greece’s needs, the country can choose to default on its debt, much of which was illegally apportioned.

Following that default, Greece may, under existing international laws, request compensation for the damage caused to the country by innumerable austerity policies, which in the words of IMF and Troika representatives, have destroyed the Greek economy.

Should the Greek default alone not cause the collapse of an already failed Euro Project, the legal request for compensation may be the last nail on the coffin of the eurozone.

Despite the negative by Merkel and Hollande to say so publicly, the future of Europe is in the hands of Greece, and not the other way around.

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