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Schäuble says Greece will stay in eurozone

The Local · 2 Nov 2011, 10:55

Published: 02 Nov 2011 09:33 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Nov 2011 10:55 GMT+01:00

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"I believe in the power of arguments," Schäuble told the daily Financial Times Deutschland.

The second aid package for Greece agreed by Europe's leaders last week offered "the best guarantee for Greece to return to health in a manageable way and get back onto its legs on its own," he said. "I expect that Greece will respect and fulfil its agreements and duties."

The eurozone will continue to support Greece if it wants to remain in the single currency and presses ahead with necessary reforms, he added.

"If Greece will accept the burden and efforts required by the aid programmes, if it wants to stay within the eurozone, then we will support it," Schäuble said. "The crisis can only be overcome if we stick together."

In a separate interview with the regional daily Hamburger Abendblatt, Schäuble said regarding the unexpected referendum that it would be "helpful if we could have clarity as soon as possible about which path Greece wants to take."

And he added: "We assume Greece is aware of its responsibility and will continue to support measures that have been unanimously agreed by everyone."

Greek premier Papandreou's announcement Tuesday of a confidence vote and then a referendum on the debt deal triggered turmoil on the world's stock markets, as it wrongfooted EU leaders who had laboured hard to put the rescue package together last week.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have summoned Papandreou to a meeting late on Wednesday, on the eve of the opening of the G20 summit in Cannes.

Germany's member of the European Commission, Günther Oettinger, said the decision of Greece's prime minister to put its EU bailout to a referendum has "endangered" the single currency.

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"The situation is difficult enough and now we are losing at least three months to save the euro," Oettinger, the EU energy commissioner, told daily Die Welt. "Of course a referendum is above all a Greek political matter. But it contains large risks for Europe."

Asked his view on George Papandreou's actions, Oettinger said: "Subjectively, I can partly understand what he is doing. Objectively, he is putting the euro in even greater danger."

AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:21 November 2, 2011 by luckylongshot
There is a saying that you can tell a politician is lying when his lips move. However to suggest that Greece will vote in favour of the austerity plans is so far out there that even the the lip moving test is unneccessary.

So far we have a problem caused by too much debt. A proposed solution based on creating even more debt. Noone in Europe wanting to guarantee all this debt. A hope that the Chinese and Indians will come to the rescue although they would have to be stupid to do so (and if not them then perhaps aliens!!!) This has all the ingredients of a great farce. What might help is a reality check.
12:44 November 2, 2011 by storymann
Perhaps Schäuble is going to pressure the banks to write off the other 50% of Greek debt.

Iam surprised the Irish have not felt slighted as none of their debt has been forgiven .

You start writing down debt for one ,others are going to expect the same treatment.
16:04 November 2, 2011 by finanzdoktor
And he added: "We assume Greece is aware of its responsibility and will continue to support measures that have been unanimously agreed by everyone."

Since when, has Greece accepted or is even aware of their responsibility?
16:14 November 2, 2011 by catjones
There is no (zero) way the average or above average Greek citizen (or any citizen anywhere) could possibly understand the ramifications of a decision one way or the other. Europe has a future of pure unintended and unpredictable financial consequences. MerKosy not knowing Papandreou would ask for a referendum is a perfect example.
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