- Title: Germany's Schaeuble pushes back in Greece debt relief row
- Date: 22nd May 2017
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (MAY 22, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF GERMAN MINISTRY OF FINANCE EUROPEAN, FRENCH AND GERMAN FLAGS SIGN ON WALL, READING (German) 'GERMAN MINISTRY OF FINANCE' GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE AND HIS FRENCH COUNTERPART BRUNO LE MAIRE ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE JOURNALISTS SCHAEUBLE AND LE MAIRE AT NEWS CONFERENCE MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FINANCE AND ECONOMY MINISTER BRUNO LE MAIRE, SAYING: "We don't have to make any pretence about which battle we would like to wage. The fight the president has chosen is one where Greece can stay in the euro zone. And this has a prerequisite that Greece carries out a series of reforms. I welcome the decisions that were made this weekend by the Greek government. The Greek government made some difficult decisions which will be difficult for the Greek people, which will be difficult to make a political reality. And I welcome the courage of the Greek government in making these decisions. Of course we talked about this today and we will most likely today and tonight speak about technical solutions that will enable us to give Greece the necessary assurances regarding the country's debt. I am certain we will find solutions. But first we have to discuss this together and together see what comes out of these discussions. What it is important is that a solution is found that will appease the Greek people and will appease Greece's creditors." NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE, SAYING: "I absolutely share Bruno Le Maire's view: it is remarkable what the Greek government and the Greek parliament have decided on. It goes in the right direction. But the deciding factor is - and occasionally that is forgotten in the discussions in Greece and some outside of Greece - it is about one goal - namely to help Greece become competitive. And it is not there yet. Because the growth figures are still not sufficient, because in order to improve the growth in Greece structural reforms are the decisive factor." PHOTOGRAPHERS (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE, SAYING: "We not talking about a new programme but the implementation of the programme agreed in 2015. And especially about the second review of the programme. As we agreed already last year, at the end of the programme, in 2018, we will, if necessary, put in place additional measures that we have defined." JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE, SAYING: "The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is more reserved than the European institutions as far as its assumptions about the development in Greece are concerned. Both the ability of Greece to stick to the rules of the fiscal pact - which Greece has done for the first time within the framework of its obligations within the agreed measures. Greece has committed itself and therefore sticking to the rules must have certain consequences, if you say that you are sticking to the rules but then there are no consequences than it is not very plausible. And the growth forecast of the IMF for the next decades is also a growth forecast that is considered inadequate by of all European institutions. And to solve that problem is to close the gap in the competitiveness and therefore the growth between Greece and other member states of the European Union. And hopefully - with slightly different debt sustainability analyses - we will reach a joint solution today. And we will reach that, I am positive." NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 5th June 2017 14:41
- Keywords: Bruno Le Maire Wolfgang Schaeuble Greece Germany
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016HX78LJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Reforms agreed by Greece are "remarkable" but the Greek economy is not yet competitive and Athens must press ahead with implementing its existing reforms-for-aid programme, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Monday (May 22).
Schaeuble, a conservative, stuck to his position that Greece must implement its existing programme after German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, a Social Democrat, earlier demanded the euro zone make a concrete commitment on debt relief to Greece.
"We are not talking about a new programme but the implementation of the programme agreed in 2015," Schaeuble said. "At the end of the programme, in 2018, we will, if necessary, put in place additional measures that we have defined."
"It is about one goal - namely to help Greece become competitive," Schaeuble said, adding Greece was not there yet.
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