Saturday November 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Merkel challenger suggests Greece should be given more time

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's main challenger in this year's federal election said on Monday that recession-struck Greece should be given more time to implement its reforms even though this would cost more money.

Peer Steinbrueck, a former finance minister, said it was necessary for crisis-stricken states to get their budgets in order and consolidate sovereign debt. But Merkel's center-right government was too focused on consolidation, he said.

"I think the application rate of these consolidation programs must be widened, must be extended, in particular in the specific case of Greece," Steinbrueck said, speaking in English at the London School of Economics a day ahead of his scheduled to visit to Athens, where he will meet with government officials.

"It will perhaps cost some money and in my eyes it's obvious it will cost some money from Germany as well and you have to tell the people, you have to tell the electorate and that's what I miss (under the current government)," said the candidate.

Steinbrueck, who served as finance minister in a conservative grand coalition under Merkel from 2005 to 2009, said more economic stimulus and more stringent supervision and regulation of banks was needed alongside consolidation in struggling eurozone states.

"I think many of these countries and their governments are to a certain extent not very content with such a strategy (of) only consolidation, consolidation, consolidation because it brings these societies and economies down to austerity," he said.

In the latest sign of discontent at austerity measures Greece needs to implement to satisfy its international lenders, Greek seamen and farmers went on strike at the weekend. The country's biggest labor union has called for a 24-hour general strike for February 20.

Steinbrueck will become chancellor if Germany's center-left Social Democrat (SPD) party wins September's federal election but the gaffe-prone politician's campaign has got off to a rough start, largely due to controversy over his lucrative earnings as a public speaker.

Merkel remains popular and a strong favorite to win a third term, especially due to her handling of the euro zone crisis.

The latest Forsa poll put the SPD at 25 percent and their Green allies 15 percent and while Merkel's conservatives dropped 2 points, they remained the biggest force at 40 percent.

If elected to the post of chancellor in Germany later this year, Steinbrueck said he wanted to combat increasing social inequality by raising both income tax for some people and capital gains, investing the extra money in education. [Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday February 5, 2013 (10:36)  
Image of artwork showing humans in blender taken out of schoolbooks
Simitis supports Venizelos over new movement
Two businessmen to be questioned in arms kickbacks probe
No swift breakthrough expected in troika talks
More cash for banks with same papers
Greek banks will be able to draw additional liquidity from the European Central Bank after Frankfurt issued a guideline on Friday that revises the haircut applying to securities issued or ...
Growth to fuel rise in revenues
Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis on Friday tabled in Parliament the final draft of the 2015 budget which is in line with the targets of the countrys bailout agreement with its creditors a...
Inside Business
INTERVIEW
Tokyo hopes to change the world
The 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo will serve as a springboard for the rebuilding of Japans image and economy following the triple blow of the earthquake, tsunami and nuc...
BASKETBALL
Big win for Greens, tight one for Reds
Panathinaikos scored a crucial as well as emphatic away win at Turow on Thursday that should see it qualify from its tough group to the top 16 of the Euroleague, while Olympiakos saw off vis...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Give Greece a chance
Greece's creditors are testing the country's endurance - again. If they keep pressing, they could split the euro area apart, which would be a disaster for them as much as for Greece. They ne...
COMMENTARY
Who lost Greece?
If, by unhappy chance, Greeces efforts to create a more efficient economy and more just society should fail, if it turns out that all our sacrifices were in vain, who will be to blame? The ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Image of artwork showing humans in blender taken out of schoolbooks
2. More cash for banks with same papers
3. Simitis supports Venizelos over new movement
4. Growth to fuel rise in revenues
5. Commercial property draws interest from investors
6. Sony chooses Piraeus as its entry point to Europe
more news
Today
This Week
1. Give Greece a chance
2. Coscos Greek unit adds multinational rail-freight client
3. No breakthrough after marathon conference call
4. Israel backs East Med pipeline project
5. Education Ministry mulls over introducing Albanian language classes
6. Greece says EU/IMF lenders disagree with 2015 budget deficit estimate
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Greece and Poland switch roles as young Greeks head to vibrant Eastern European country for better prospects
3. Constructively disrupting the Greek start-up ecosystem: What will the impact be?
4. Anti-junta uprising anniversary to be marked amid tight security
5. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
6. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.