• Germany's news in English
 

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.
Today's headlines
Extreme heat causes Autobahn to rupture
A fissure on the Autobahn near Heidelberg. Photo: DPA

Extreme heat causes Autobahn to rupture

The heatwave sweeping across the country may have Germans flocking to the sea this weekend, but the extreme temperatures are also causing Autobahns to break apart. READ  

Nazi island resort to be turned into luxury flats
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Nazi island resort to be turned into luxury flats

A vast Nazi mega-complex meant as holiday homes for German workers and later used by the Soviets as a Cold War barracks is about to be turned into luxury flats. READ  

Greece crisis
'Bundestag must vote on new bailout': Schäuble
A poster of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble in Athens reads "For five years he has sucked your blood. Now tell him NO." Photo: DPA

'Bundestag must vote on new bailout': Schäuble

UPDATE: Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Friday that there would be no quick release of bailout funds to Greece after the country's referendum on whether to accept its creditors' terms on Sunday. READ  

Activists give Dalai Lama 80th birthday stamp
The new Deutsche Post stamp showing the Dalai Lama. Photo: DPA

Activists give Dalai Lama 80th birthday stamp

Pro-Tibet activists have created a new limited-edition stamp featuring the Dalai Lama to mark the Tibetan spiritual leader's 80th birthday. READ  

Women's World Cup
'Germany will crack England': top coach
Star striker Celia Sasic. Photo: DPA

'Germany will crack England': top coach

The manager of European champions FFC Frankfurt told The Local he expects Germany to beat England in the third place play-off in the Women's World Cup, and predicted his protege Celia Sasic will grab a goal or two. READ  

NSA surveillance scandal
Calls grow for govt to act on NSA spying
Chancellor Angela Merkel, the highest-profile German victim of NSA spying, speaking on the phone. Photo: DPA

Calls grow for govt to act on NSA spying

Green Party security expert Konstantin von Notz told The Local on Friday that Chancellor Angela Merkel is failing to restore faith in the German-US partnership following fresh spying revelations. READ  

Germany reach semis of beach volleyball worlds
Ilka Semmler and Katrin Holtwick. Photo: DPA file

Germany reach semis of beach volleyball worlds

Germany's top beach volleyball pair are storming the world championships in Holland and prepare to face Brazil in the semis on Friday. READ  

Environment minister blasts Merkel, colleagues
Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks. Photo: DPA

Environment minister blasts Merkel, colleagues

Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks loosed a broadside against her cabinet colleagues on Friday in a guest article for Die Welt, saying that they had decided to do too little to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a way that would cost too much. READ  

Greece crisis
BILD polls readers in own 'Greece referendum'
Image: BILD/screenshot

BILD polls readers in own 'Greece referendum'

Tabloid Bild continued its campaign against bailouts for Greece on Friday by calling its own "referendum", asking readers to fill out a poll on whether Germany should keep stumping up. German politicians were divided on how the Greek vote would affect Europe. READ  

Police confiscate WW2 tank hidden in cellar
The Panther tank removed from a cellar in Kiel, with a prosecutors' evidence label attached to its barrel. Photo: DPA

Police confiscate WW2 tank hidden in cellar

Police searched a villa in a wealthy suburb of Kiel on Wednesday and found a Second World War tank, a torpedo and other weaponry in the cellar. On Thursday they were still working on removing the tank. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,945
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd