Germany’s finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble dropped another of his famous bombs against Greece— this time a day before a crucial meeting of the Eurozone’s finance minister scheduled for tomorrow, Monday December 5, 2016, sending a clear message to fellow ministers that Germany will not back calls for debt relief while hinting that a Grexit was still on the table.
He told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag that “Athens must finally implement the needed reforms. If Greece wants to stay in the euro, there is no way around it.”
Asked whether it might be time to tell German voters that a debt forgiveness for Greece was inevitable, Schaeuble said: “That would not help Greece.”
Schaeuble’s comments came just one day before an important meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels to discuss short-term measures to lighten Greece’s debt burden and assess progress in reforms.
Schaeuble, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, was probably speaking to the German electorate in the interview to Germany’s most widely-circulated Sunday newspaper.
2017 is an election year and Merkel’s party will face tough challenges from far right parties, including the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has been gaining traction as a party against Germany’s involvement in bailing out euro zone members like Greece.