Greece leaving the euro not so scary - Germans

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Greece leaving the euro not so scary - Germans
Photo: DPA

German ministers continued to increase pressure on Greece to implement savings measures over the weekend, despite the Greek parliament voting clearly in favour of a radical reform packet which provoked riots in Athens.


The Greek parliament voted on Sunday evening in favour of a savings package which includes job cuts and wage reductions – the price of releasing the next tranche of €130 billion from the euro emergency fund.

German Economy Minister Philipp Rösler would not rule out Sunday the prospects of Greece's exit from the eurozone, saying that "D-Day" was becoming a "less scary" prospect.

Asked during an interview with German television ARD about a possible exit of Greece from the eurozone, Rösler replied: "It's in the hands of the Greeks."

"D-Day is less and less scary," he added later in the interview. Rösler also pushed Greece to commit more to reforms, saying that it was making less effort than Portugal and Spain, according to a text of the interview published ahead of the broadcast.

On Monday he told the Morgenmagazin television programme it was crucial that the reforms were actually implemented – only then would the money be released. He said it was correct to push the Greek government in what he called the “right direction”.

He would not say he was confident the measures would be implemented, pointing to Greek tax laws which had been on the books for ages but not properly enforced.

Rösler was the third German minister to call on Sunday for Athens to implement reforms quickly.

In an interview with weekly paper Welt am Sonntag, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said: "Greece's promises are insufficient for us. They must... first implement parts of the previous programme and save."

Foreign Affairs Minister Guido Westerwelle told news magazine Der Spiegel that "it is not enough to adopt reform programmes. It is also necessary to begin without delay the implementation of these reforms.

“Not any time, but now."

DPA/AFP/The Local/hc


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