NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There's good news about the European economy, and it only helps the bargaining position of the European Union in its showdown with Greece.
The region's purchasing managers' index rose to 54.1 in June, up from 53.6 in May, and the highest level since 2011. This performance shows the increasing strength of the eurozone economies even amid all the news coverage about a potential Greek exit from the euro. For the leaders of the European Union, the timing of this information could not be better.
"France's manufacturing sector recorded its strongest performance in more than a year, giving hope that the eurozone's second-biggest economy was starting to pick up pace," the Financial Times reported. "Excluding France and Germany, the rest of the region's economies included in the PMEs together had their best performance for eight years."
For Greece, things are not so good. The Greek economy, which was starting to grow before the current leftist government was elected earlier this year, has returned to recession territory. The momentum achieved from the efforts of the previous Greek government has all been lost, and now the country faces the uncertainty and distrust created by five months of arguing and name-calling.
During that time, the position of eurozone officials has become stronger and that of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has gotten weaker. The negotiating tactics used by the young, inexperienced Greek leaders have just worsened their relative position in the discussions.
In fact, some now fear that the conditions of any deal being signed might just exacerbate the situation in Greece.