Schaeuble, 70, speaking to reporters in Berlin today, said that he’s “convinced that we went to the limit of what’s economically justifiable with the second Greek program.” It was “very difficult” to put it together under existing rules and questioning it won’t instill confidence.
Schaeuble said he doesn’t want to speculate whether Greece needs another reduction of its debt because that would unsettle financial markets. “The conditions for the payment of the next tranche are clearly defined,” Schaeuble said.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is struggling to reach agreement with his coalition partners on an 11.5 billion-euro ($14.9 billion) budget-cut package that’s key to receiving international aid funds.
While “nobody wants Greece to leave the euro,” that doesn’t detract from the fact “Greece has to adhere to and implement the second program,” Schaeuble said. He reiterated that he’ll await the report of the so-called troika of inspectors from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund who have been locked in talks for two weeks with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras on carving out savings.
The second Greek program is “ambitious,” and the Greek people should be shown “great respect” for what they have already undertaken, Schaeuble said. While he believes the verbal declarations of Greece’s leaders, “we can’t go by the subjective assumptions, we have to stick to the facts.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Rainer Buergin in Berlin at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at firstname.lastname@example.org