While to date the Eurozone debt crisis is one of the most important and consequential events in world politics of the twenty-first century, the actions taken by states to negotiate a cooperative resolution do not seem particularly puzzling. In this article, we employ the analytic explanation approach to process tracing to test whether the most protracted and high-profile case â€“ negotiations between creditors led by Germany, and Greece as debtor state â€“ indeed validate three central hypotheses of basic cooperation theory regarding the sources of bargaining strength. We conclude that while bargaining leverage did emerge primarily from the ability to withstand non-agreement, the weaker Greece was able to achieve marginal concessions reflecting terms that departed from Germanyâ€™s initial win-set. This leverage stemmed however not from a threat based on domestic political constraints, but from the realization that Greeceâ€™s structural economic weakness rendered the strictest austerity measures untenable. The policy implication is that the credibility of the weaker sideâ€™s negotiating signal arose not from domestic politics, but the impartial assessments of international technocrats and private rating agencies.