• Germany's news in English

Greek offer 'no basis for discussion': Schäuble

AFP/DPA/The Local · 1 Jul 2015, 15:00

Published: 01 Jul 2015 08:25 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Jul 2015 15:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Schäuble pointed to conflicting reports on whether Athens still plans a referendum Sunday on bailout terms and whether it would support a yes or no vote, noting that "all of this is no basis for discussions on serious measures."

"That's why first of all Greece must clarify its position on what it wants, and then we will have to talk about it, under conditions that are now far more difficult," Schäuble told a Berlin press conference.

Schäuble pointed out that the proposal "to be rejected or accepted doesn't exist anymore and never existed" -- because the European offer in question was rejected by Athens last week and the aid programme formally expired on Tuesday night.

Since the programme ended at the stroke of midnight, "the legal and actual facts" had entirely changed, he said.

"We are ready for any eventuality, but we are in a really difficult situation," he said, blaming "entirely the behaviour of the Greek leaders, which is no longer comprehensible to anyone".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told MPs in the Bundestag (German parliament) later on Wednesday that "the future of Europe is not at stake" from the Greek crisis but warned against striking a compromise at any price that could weaken the EU.

"Yes, these are turbulent days. And the stakes indeed are high," Merkel said, a day after debt-laden Greece crashed out of an EU aid programme and became the first advanced economy to default on an IMF payment.

„The world is watching us. But the future of Europe is not at stake. The future of Europe would be at stake if we forgot who we are and what makes us strong - a community based on rules and responsibility," she said.

"If we forgot that, the euro would fail, and with it Europe," said Merkel, who through years of eurozone turmoil has championed tough reforms and cost-cutting in return for bailout cash from the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

She said that after years of crisis Europe had become "more robust" and that although the present situation was difficult "it is primarily a source of agony for the people of Greece".

Merkel said Europe could now "calmly" await the outcome of a referendum called for Sunday by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras on the country's bailout terms, because the bloc was "strong".

With the second Greek bailout now expired, negotiations will have to start again from the beginning to try and find agreement for a third programme under the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

Merkel and Schäuble's remarks came after crisis-hit Greece sought to revive collapsed talks and requested a two-year rescue deal with the EU, just hours before the European part of its international bailout expired at midnight.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesman confirmed that a payment of €1.54 billion – a "bundle" of weekly payments slated for June that the Greek government had been allowed to delay – did not arrive by the deadline, with the Greeks warning the IMF beforehand.

That makes Greece the first developed country to miss a payment to the IMF.

Eurogroup finance ministers are due to meet in Brussels at 11.30am on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Greece, after the group dismissed Tsipras' new reform proposals out of hand in a conference call on Tuesday evening.

“Under these circumstances it would be crazy to extend the bailout programme. That's why it's ending tonight,” Eurogroup president and Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told the Netherlands parliament on Tuesday.

German MPs are due to hold their own debate on the Greece crisis at 1pm on Wednesday. Merkel, her deputy Sigmar Gabriel and finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble are all expected to speak.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd