Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said helping Greece is in Germany’s interest, though not all cost, and Greeks shouldn’t blame international creditors for their financial woes.
While “Greece needs help,” the aid has to “make sense” and allow its government to return to the financial markets at some point, Schaeuble said Wednesday in response to questions from students in Berlin. “If it doesn’t make sense and just means that nothing changes materially, that only harms the Greeks in the end.”
Schaeuble, who is Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief negotiator in euro-area talks to unlock a financing deal for Greece, said the country’s European creditors, the International Monetary Fund and Germany “aren’t to blame for the Greek problems.” Greek demands for World War II reparations from Germany are “nonsense,” he said.
Greece will either reach an aid deal with Europe or have to do with less help “and that’s the truth,” Schaeuble said. Still, Germany suffers when the euro area “is in bad shape” because “we draw the biggest advantages from Europe,” he said.
Greece’s talks with creditors have stalled because “all sides are focusing too much on the strings to be attached to the next liquidity injection,” Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in a commentary on Project Syndicate.
Instead, they should develop “a vision of how Greece can recover and develop sustainably,” he said.