- it's not that long since re-unification, which was not that popular in what used to be West Germany, and which helped to depress wage levels.
- Germany has just been through ten tough years of sever wage restraint to deal with unemployment - living standards sank but companies and employment levels eventually recovered, after a lot of pain taken by the electorate.
- there is still a folk memory of hyper inflation (taking your wages home in a wheelbarrow levels) with the wipe out of the middle class and the rise of facism.
- Germany, as the EUs biggest economy, made it a linch pin of EU membership that they would not have to bail anyone out. However, they did expect full access to all EU markets. They have paid much bigger transfers into the EU than other countries to balance that.
Merkel presumable things that giving German tax payers money to the "feckless" Greeks may be more than here political life is worth.
Sarkhozy sees it differently and is mainly focused on extending French influence.