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Greek Vote Won’t Alter Country’s Crisis, Schaeuble Tells Stern

June 13 (Bloomberg) -- Greece’s election results won’t change the reality of the country’s economic crisis and won’t prevent the nation from carrying out painful reforms, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told Stern magazine.

Greeks on June 17 “can vote however they want,” Schaeuble told the German magazine in an interview today. “But whatever election result we have will change nothing about the actual situation in the country, which is in a painful crisis brought on by a decades-long flawed economy.”

The German finance chief was quoted by Stern as saying he had “really great sympathy with the man on the street in Greece” suffering under the effects of austerity. “I can’t spare him that,” he added. “Crises are seldom fair.”

“It’s not easy to cut the minimum wage in Greece if you think about all the yacht owners,” Schaeuble said. “But the Greek minimum wage is just dropping to the level of Spain. If the country wants to become competitive again, it has to sink.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Donahue in Berlin at pdonahue1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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