Wednesday September 3, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
29o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Germany tells Greece not to stray if it wants cash

Germany told Greece on Friday that staying in the eurozone was its own choice and that it must not stray from austerity if it expects to get international cash.

It also laid out its support for a European 'growth pact' in an attempt to deflect criticism that its insistence on austerity has exacerbated Athens' debt woes.

In a speech to parliament, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Germany wanted to help Greece stay in the eurozone but made clear the EU-IMF loans needed to stave off bankruptcy hinged on continued spending cuts and tax hikes.

With a nod to France's Socialist President-elect Francois Hollande and other European critics of Berlin's drive for budget discipline, Westerwelle said Germany too wanted more growth but not if it meant more spending.

"The future of Greece in the eurozone lies in the hands of Greece,» Westerwelle told the Bundestag lower chamber.

"We want to help and we will help Greece, but Greece has to be ready to accept help. If Greece strays from the agreed reform path, then the payment of further aid tranches won't be possible. Solidarity is not a one way street,» he said.

The leaders of Greece's two mainstream pro-bailout parties were making a last-ditch bid on Friday to forge a new government after last Sunday's election deprived them of a parliamentary majority and boosted radical anti-bailout parties.

If they fail, Greece, now in its fifth year of recession, faces new elections next month in which anti-austerity leftists seem likely to repeat their strong gains, possibly paving the way for a Greek debt default and leave the euro.

In a sign some European countries are coming to terms with a possible Greek exit, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in an interview published on Friday that the eurozone was much more resilient now to nasty shocks following the creation of bailout funds that are supporting Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

"The contagion dangers for other countries of the eurozone have shrunk, the eurozone has become more resilient,» Schaeuble told the online edition of the Rheinische Post newspaper.

"The idea that we are not able to react to something unforeseeable at short notice is wrong. Europe does not go under so quickly,» he said.

Echoing those comments, the head of Germany's main private banking association told German radio the eurozone would survive if Greece had to leave.

"I believe the eurozone could cope with it (a Greek exit). The immediate consequences would be limited,» said Michael Kemmer, general manager of the Association of German Banks.

Schaeuble criticized political forces in Greece who suggested to their voters that there was a realistic alternative to the austerity program.

"(It is) dangerous to lead citizens into believing that there is another, simpler way whereby Greece could recover by avoiding hardship,» Schaeuble said in his interview.

Some Greek politicians, including Alexis Tsipris, leader of the Radical Left Coalition that polled second in last Sunday's election, have said Greece can reject the austerity programme but still stay in the euro.

In his Bundestag speech, Westerwelle said the European growth pact advocated by France's Hollande and others should not involve more expenditure than at present but «better use of resources» in the EU budget in coming years.

He cited waste and abuses such as «European-funded stays at spas in romantic hotels».

Westerwelle said the EU should invest 80 billion euros of unused structural funds in projects to spur growth and competitiveness, and boost the European Investment Bank to give small and medium-sized firms better access to credit.

The former leader of the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP), who are coalition allies of Chancellor Angela Merkel, also linked growth in Europe to the need for freer internal and external markets.

Hollande will hold talks with Merkel in Berlin on Tuesday, hours after his inauguration, on the eurozone debt crisis and measures to revive growth in Europe, much of which - with the important exception of Germany itself - is mired in recession.

It will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders. Merkel shunned Hollande during the election campaign and publicly backed the incumbent, fellow conservative Nicolas Sarkozy.

[Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Friday May 11, 2012 (14:21)  
Report points to suspicious clinic charges to EOPYY
New rector seeks to introduce ID checks at University of Athens
Gov’t upbeat in troika talks, says budget ´on target´
Anti-racism bill approved in principle, final vote Friday
Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
Helexpo, the state company that organizes major exhibitions such as the Thessaloniki International Fair, is in the last stages of drawing up its privatization plan. Sources say that the prop...
Maniatis talks energy with Washington’s man in Athens
Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis held a meeting yesterday with US Ambassador in Athens David D. Pearce to discuss possible natural gas supply problems that Europe may face this winter due to...
Inside Business
Grateful Saviola thanks Olympiakos, joins Verona
Former Argentina international Javier Saviola has thanked Greek champions Olympiakos for the "beautiful moments" during his season-long stint in Greece as he left the club to join Serie A ou...
SOCCER
Greece defender Papadopoulos fires parting shot at Michel
International defender Avraam Papadopoulos suddenly quit Olympiakos on Monday to join Turkish club Trabzonspor, and fired a parting shot at Olympiakos manager Michel putting the blame on the...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Politicized archaeology
Let us suppose that archaeologists discover that the tomb uncovered in Amphipolis was not the resting place of Roxana or Nearchos, but of Alexander the Great. Let us assume, that is, that ar...
EDITORIAL
Moderating expectations
Politics is, to a great extent, all about managing expectations, and anyone who raises that bar too high or too fast is at serious risk of disappointing and losing the people’s favor. In a c...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
2. Maniatis talks energy with Washington’s man in Athens
3. Task force to examine cases of extreme taxation, customs issues
4. Hotels hike prices by 10 pct in H1 of 2014
5. Pension system nears breaking point
6. Report points to suspicious clinic charges to EOPYY
more news
Today
This Week
1. Politicized archaeology
2. Rain and storms with hail expected in many parts of Greece
3. Reforms to dominate Greek talks in Paris, debt relief talks later, says source
4. New committee formed to assess progress of deregulation in closed-shop professions
5. Moderating expectations
6. Greece needs private debt overhaul, Piraeus Bank CEO says
Today
This Week
1. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
2. The battle against progress
3. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
4. Hardouvelis, ECB executive discuss bank program, stress tests
5. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
6. Prospect of Greek grand prix back on the agenda; huge investment needed
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.