In the middle of a formal dinner with the leaders of the 27 countries that make up the European Union, French President Macron slammed his fist so hard on the table that everyone was startled.
His nerves were shattered after four days and nights of negotiations. It was the second longest-running summit after the one in Nice, which lasted 5 days in 2000.
And yet, despite the tension and personal friction, the goal of the German-French alliance was achieved.
The EU will set up a €1.8 trillion fund, of which €750 billion will be raised in part from joint borrowing and will be made available as loans and grants to the weakest countries and those hardest hit by the Coronavirus, including Greece.
Macron said: "We have created the opportunity to borrow together, by creating a Recovery Fund, in a spirit of solidarity."
And that is the point. What was once unthinkable – co-borrowing and making grants – has now become a reality.
Based on this fact, it can be said, despite all that has happened, that the EU has taken another important step towards its deeper unification – its federalization.
Greece, as announced by Prime Minister Mitsotakis, will receive about 10% of the total (~70 billion euros). An important amount of course, which becomes more important if one considers that a large portion of it will be in grant form.
And this is ironic considering what happened during the economic crisis, especially during the Tsipras-Varoufakis period, when all the money given by the EU to keep the country from going bankrupt was in the form of a loan, raising Greece's debt to new heights.
What made this major change in EU thinking and decision making possible?
Certainly their trust in the current Prime Minister, in comparison to the lack of trust in the past towards Mr. Tsipras.
Much is still unknown about how the money will be distributed and the terms on which it will be given.
But that is the EU. Its leaders kill each other for a few days, but in the end the need for an EU prevails.
On the other hand, America presents a more and more frustrating image every day. It has already entered dark and uncharted waters.
Hopefully, a solution will emerge in November.