Germany tells Greece 'we can't be blackmailed'
Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday that the government would expect a new Greek leadership to hold to the country's promises on the economy.
Germany expects that “whatever the shape of the new government, it should stick to the agreements that have been reached with the EU”, Gabriel told the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung.
But he added that despite reports this weekend on government contingency plans for a “Grexit” (Greek exit from the Euro), “the goal of the whole government, the EU and the government in Athens itself is to keep Greece in the Eurozone.”
Greeks will go to the polls on January 25th to elect a new parliament after the previous legislature could not agree on who should be named as President.
Gabriel noted that the Eurozone was more stable and resilient now than it had been in 2012, the last time Greece stared the possibility of dropping out of the single currency in the face.
Members of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU) urged the government to stick to its guns and offer no concessions to the favourites, radical left-wing party Syriza, should they win.
Their leader, Alexis Tsipras, has vowed that he will reverse the economic reforms demanded by Greece's creditors in exchange for bailouts.
Social Democratic Party (SPD) deputy leader Carsten Schneider warned the government and conservatives not to be cavalier about the risks if they force Greece to leave.
“A Greek exit from the Euro would seriously burden the federal budget and further damage the fragile economic situation in the Eurozone”, he told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.