Tags: Germans | Dutch | Greece | Eurozone

Germans, Dutch Officials: Greece’s Future in Eurozone Hangs in Balance

Friday, 26 October 2012 12:40 PM

Germany and the Netherlands signaled that Greece’s future in the euro is not yet assured, as the northern neighbors sought to maintain pressure on Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to hold to agreed reforms.

“It’s not yet decided,” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in an interview with ZDF television, according to e-mailed extracts. “We want Greece to be able to stay in the eurozone. But Greece has a lot to do.”

Schaeuble’s Dutch colleague, acting Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager, told reporters in The Hague Friday that the Netherlands is “against any delay in the measures the country should take.”

While he reiterated the view that “we should wait for the report of the troika” of international creditors, De Jager said that “Greece must bear the costs of any delay.”

The dual message is a rebuke to Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, who triggered investor confusion on Oct. 24 when he told lawmakers in Athens that Greece had won approval for its bid to secure a two-year extension to 2016 for its bailout program. The European Commission and European Central Bank, two-thirds of the so-called troika examining Greece’s progress in meeting the terms of its bailout, denied that a deal had been struck, saying their review is not yet complete.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country is the biggest contributor to Greece’s 130 billion-euro ($168 billion) bailout, said in August when Samaras visited Berlin that she was “deeply convinced” his government would “do what it takes to solve the problem in Greece.”

‘Doubts Persist’

Yet Schaeuble said that “doubts persist as to whether Greece has been able to meet its obligations,” according to the ZDF interview to be broadcast on Oct. 30. “These doubts have to be dispelled from now on.”

European policy makers are awaiting the report on Greece’s progress in meeting internationally agreed targets compiled by the troika of the EU Commission, the ECB and the International Monetary Fund. The German Finance Ministry said that it didn’t know when the report will be complete.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde is due to meet with French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Oct. 29 before holding talks with Merkel in Berlin the following day. Euro-area finance ministers will then have a conference call on Oct. 31, a spokesman for Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the group of finance chiefs, said by e-mail.

Citigroup Inc. Chief Economist Willem Buiter said there needs to be a write-off of Greece’s debt so that officials can focus on reviving economic growth, even after Citigroup “tempered” its forecast for Greece leaving the euro.

“I myself continue to be unconvinced that the funding, the non-market funding, necessary to keep Greece on board will be available,” Buiter said today in an interview on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene and Sara Eisen in New York. “It can only come from the official creditors or from the ECB and neither of them seem to be willing to play.’”

© Copyright 2019 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

1Like our page
Germany and the Netherlands signaled that Greece s future in the euro is not yet assured, as the northern neighbors sought to maintain pressure on Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to hold to agreed reforms.
Friday, 26 October 2012 12:40 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved