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Finance minister: Greece only has self to blame

Published: 27 Oct 2012 09:03 GMT+02:00

Speaking on a documentary about the eurozone crisis due to air on public broadcaster ZDF next Tuesday, German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble said: "We want Greece to stay in the eurozone. But Greece has a lot of things to do. That has not yet been decided."

"There are doubts over whether Greece has fulfilled its commitments up until now. These doubts must be dispelled in the future," added Schäuble, according to a statement released in advance byZDF.

Eurozone officials are poring over a Greek request for the terms of its bailout to be extended by two years to 2016, allowing it to spread out the pain of the austerity measures it has signed up to in return.

Such an extension, however, could add up to €30 billion to an already huge bailout bill.

A spokesman for the head of the eurozone finance ministers' group, Jean-Claude Juncker, said earlier on Friday that they would hold a conference call on Wednesday.

A team of auditors from the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank is putting the finishing touches on a report that will decide whether Athens gets the next tranche of bailout cash

to stay afloat.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has been trying to persuade his coalition allies to accept new austerity measures to close that deal but they have baulked at labour reforms demanded by the troika of creditors.

Without the aid payment, Samaras has warned, the country could be broke by the middle of next month.

Schäuble also lashed out at some Greek politicians who have sought to deflect the blame away from Athens.

"If politicians in Greece try to convince people that someone in Brussels, Europe or Germany is responsible for their problems, then they are irresponsible demagogues," he said, according to the text.

"Blame for the situation in Greece is down to nobody other than Greece and the Greek politicians," he said.

AFP/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:16 October 27, 2012 by Navigator_B
Nobody else to blame for Greece's debt problems? Does the German finance minister know that German banks lent a large part of the money to Greece even though it was obvious at that time that Greece could not pay back the loans? Does he know which political party was supposed to be in charge of the German government and economy at that time? 
16:03 October 27, 2012 by Englishted
This man is a embarrassment , everybody is wrong except Germany .

You can't keep putting austerity measures on top of austerity measures same as you can't get blood out of a stone.

He and his ilk will drive people into the hands of extremist parties as thats what happens when you remove hope and replace it with pain.
17:06 October 27, 2012 by ChrisRea
The ones financially engaging Greece were indeed the Greek politicians alone and the rest of the Greeks do not really consider this a betrayal, otherwise they would have prosecuted the respective politicians. It was not the EU, Germany, the USA or some other country that decided to put Greece in debt.
18:17 October 27, 2012 by Navigator_B
ChrisRea, When money is lent, the borrower is put in debt by both the lender and the borrower himself. The lender is not forced to lend the money. I'm not talking about the ordinary German people here, but their banks.

I don't think that the Greeks could prosecute their politicians because apparently it was perfectly legal for them to fiddle the figures, along with Goldman Sachs who arranged the creative accountancy scheme. Eurostat knew about it but the scam was not made public at the time and the Greek people were misled as much as anyone else about their ability to repay the loans.
18:29 October 27, 2012 by hanskarl
Greece already was extremist with their ludicrous policies. Some cannot help but deflect reality such as personal responsibility. The Grecian government didn't have to borrow from the banks. Banks lend money and Greece accepted the terms that the bank made unrealistic to either side. Government pressure did not come from Germany but the idiotic EU. Greece's lot would not consider anything less than what they already had, retirement at 50.

Herr Schäuble is only pointing out what every individual should accept as a benchmark of life. Unfortunately, most rather choose to live in an existence of non-reality, which in the long term financially and socially is as bad as drug and alcohol addiction.
19:21 October 27, 2012 by TheCrownPrince
"This man is a embarrassment , everybody is wrong except Germany "

@Englishted - It's true, in 90 % of all cases everybody is wrong except Germany. What took you so long so realise that? Should not be a surprise at all.
22:10 October 27, 2012 by Johnne
Herr Schauble bitte zip the lip!
01:46 October 28, 2012 by lenny van
I think this is not the first time this has happened. I forget when, where or what it was about, but I think I remember, when I was a little boy, hearing Germans who had come to America to live blaming another group of people for something or other.

Immer, Geld und Schuld.
06:37 October 28, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ Navigator_B #4

The borrower (Greece in this case) was not forced to take the money. If they did not want to accrue more debt, nobody could force them to.

It is not about cooking the public figures, but about entering into commercial transactions (acquisition, loan contracts) that are not beneficial for the state that mandates you. That is the basis for prosecuting (corrupt) politicians. But apparently the Greeks had nothing against it. Or they find it hard to admit that a Greek might be faulty.
12:13 October 28, 2012 by smart2012
German Siemens corrupted one Greek politician to gets big contract on trains in Greece.

Merkel (and her friend sarkozy) came out from meetings in Greece with big contracts for German companies 3-4 years ago (submarines, guns etc)

Greece lost a huge amount of money in 2008 after trusting deutsche bank investments.

Schauble, go home
20:04 October 28, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
In fact Greece should blame herself. But not as Schauble thinks. Greece should blame herself for getting involved with Germany and Dr. Merkyl and Mr. Hyde. They have acted like a loan shark persuading Greece to take loans and buy from them knowing full well Greece could not afford to do so. Now they are breaking Greeces fingers and toes in order to extract the debt out of her.
11:38 October 29, 2012 by michael4096
And, there I was thinking Germany was putting herself into debt to stop others 'breaking the bones' of Greece - good job I have people here to correct me.
16:53 October 29, 2012 by raandy
Herr Schäuble is correct, Greece is in this mess because of themselves, but the Euro Zone is dealing with it because they did not perform a due diligence on Greece's finances prior to admittance. Hopefully this will not be the case for future prospects.
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