No need for ‘unease’ about Greece, Berlin says

No need for 'unease' about Greece, Berlin says
Photo: DPA
Germany said on Friday that it sees no reason for "unease" over Greece's fiscal woes and that it is confident that Athens will live up to its promises to rein in its yawning budget deficit.

“We would advise against an excessive interpretation of the developments on financial markets. Of course now we have special conditions. But there is some speculation going on,” a finance ministry spokesman said.

“We are confident that Greece has recognised the seriousness of the situation and that it will act … In our view there is no cause for unease at present,” the spokesman told a regular government briefing.

“We would highlight the successful sale of a Greek bond on January 25, confirming that Greece still has access to international capital markets. The signs are pointing more towards a calming of the situation, in our view.”

As the eurozone’s largest economy and the largest contributor to EU coffers, Germany is seen as being first in line for any bailout but Berlin has consistently denied that any such move is on the cards.

“Germany is confident that Greece will implement its announcements (on reducing its budget deficit), so there is no need to talk about other measures,” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s deputy spokesman told the same briefing.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was due to head to Greece on Tuesday for talks with Prime Minister George Papandreou and Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, his spokesman said on Friday.

The three main rating agencies have downgraded Greece’s debt ratings, and the yield on Greek 10-year bonds this week hit its highest level since Greece joined the eurozone in 2001.

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