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Merkel ally: 'Eurozone could handle Greek exit'

The Local · 18 May 2012, 09:52

Published: 18 May 2012 09:52 GMT+02:00

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In an interview with German business daily Handelsblatt, former economic minister Rainer Brüderle said: "Unlike two years ago, the eurozone today could cope with a Greek exit."

"It would cost a lot of money but it would be manageable. The decision, however, lies in Athens and not in Berlin.

"The Greeks themselves have to weigh up whether reintroducing the drachma would help their economic recovery more than staying in the eurozone," added Brüderle, parliamentary chief for the Free Democratic Party.

With an eye on the damage a potential Greek exit would cause to other shaky economies like Italy and Spain, EU finance ministers in March clinched a deal to raise their "firewall" to what they claimed was more than $1 trillion.

The idea of Greece leaving the eurozone has been increasingly discussed in public, with British Prime Minister David Cameron warning Wednesday the block had to "make up, or it's looking at a potential break-up."

Germany's position is that it is prepared to help Greece - with continued EU funding - but that Athens must carry out the reforms agreed in exchange for the bailouts that have been agreed.

Since an inconclusive election on May 6 that handed huge gains to parties opposed to austerity demanded by Berlin, the line has hardened, with Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle warning the second vote next month will be about Greece's place in the euro.

Merkel used her first news conference with new French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday, however, to stress that both Paris and Berlin wanted the debt-wracked country to stay in the euro.

Story continues below…


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:30 May 18, 2012 by smart2012
Greek affair in few words: a small issue which was handled in a way to become a huge global issue. Well done Merkozy!!!

And btw, u guys remember the article of this german guy buying a Greek island?? Tell him now that he will loose all his money in case Greece exits EU and goes back to drachma...
18:23 May 18, 2012 by ProgandaLady

'Tell him now that he will loose all his money in case Greece exits EU and goes back to drachma... '

Why would he lose the Euros he holds? Just because he has Euros, doesn't mean that he can't buy market value Drachmas with them. There is such thing as currency exchange, after all.
00:01 May 19, 2012 by smart2012
Cause all things in Greece will loose their current value. U will need to buy after Greece gets back into drachma, not before...
03:42 May 19, 2012 by ProgandaLady

You must be really smart, because I still don't understand. You're saying the value changes when converted to Drachma?? Is a BMW or piece of land going to cost more or less when bought with Drachma vs its equivalent in Euros? Where else does something cost more or less solely based Currency? Excluding taxes and fees, does a BMW cost more in Iceland, or in Japan?
11:32 May 19, 2012 by catjones
ProgandaLady....the short answer is 'yes', the same things do not cost the same price all over the world. For example, look up Big Mac Index.
14:13 May 19, 2012 by smart2012
Thx Catjones :)

Propaganda lady: go in morocco and buy a house and then tell me if the price per square meters is the same as Germany. This will be the price in Greece if Greece leaves europe..
18:58 May 19, 2012 by ProgandaLady
@Catjones and @smart2012

Oh ok, does a piece of real estate cost the same in Berlin as it does in Munich then? Big Mac index? Does that include Taxes or fees?
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