German Finance Minister: 'We Won't Let Greece Down'

Tuesday, 27 Apr 2010 02:48 PM

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Germany will not let Greece down and that the Berlin government is pushing for a quick decision on emergency aid for Greece.

In an interview to appear in Wednesday's Handelsblatt newspaper, Schaeuble said: "What has to be done now ... is to send a clear signal that we won't let Greece down."

Schaeuble took aim against members of parliament in Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right government, which has expressed reservations about the Greek aid package.

"Let me say this clearly: this does not involve any debt restructuring, that's not an issue and that's not something that anyone in the government is talking about," Schaeuble said, according to an advance excerpt of the interview.

He added that the issue at hand is putting into concrete form and enacting an aid package formulated by the euro zone on April 11. He said that was needed to send the clear signal that Greece won't be allowed to fall.

Schaeuble added he had understanding for the wish of some deputies that banks be included in the rescue. But he said he did not know how that could be implemented without talking about restructuring debt "and destabilizing the situation further."

Schaeuble said that as a result restructuring was not playing any role whatsoever in the negotiations with the IMF, the EU Commission and the European Central Bank.

Schaeuble also said Germany did not have its foot on the brakes.

"We're pushing for a quick decision," Schaeuble said.

On Tuesday, Greece's debt crisis became more severe yet, when rating agency Standard & Poor's lowered the country's credit rating to junk status. S&P also lowered its credit rating for Portugal.

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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