Saturday May 30, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Schaeuble says pressure on Greece must remain ahead of German election

By Patrick Donahue

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Europe must keep up pressure on Greece to stand by its austerity pledges as he rejected the notion that the upcoming election has put debt-crisis management on hold.

Greece’s progress will continue to be monitored after euro- area governments last week approved the latest bailout transfer to keep the government in Athens funded through the Sept. 22 election in Germany. German lawmakers have until noon today to raise objections to the latest Greek tranche.

“The pressure remains, so this has nothing to do with the election schedule,” Schaeuble told Deutschlandfunk radio in an interview yesterday. “They’re far from being over the mountain,” he said.

As European leaders scramble to plug the hole in Greece’s budget, Germany’s political factions are maneuvering into position ahead of a vote eight weeks away as Chancellor Angela Merkel seeks a third term in office. Her challenger for the office, Social Democratic Peer Steinbrueck, declined to rule out a possible “grand” coalition with Merkel’s bloc.

With most polls showing Merkel’s Christian Democratic-led bloc about 15 percentage points ahead of the SPD, they project a narrow chance she could continue her current partnership with the market-liberal Free Democratic Party. Falling short of that, the most likely combination would be reprising the grand coalition that Merkel led in her first term from 2005 to 2009.

Such a government would change the crisis-resolution calculus, putting Merkel in partnership with a party that has been more open to sovereign bailouts in Europe.

Steinbrueck, who was finance minister in the grand coalition, said the scenario couldn’t be ruled out even though he wouldn’t be a member of a government with Merkel.

“In a parliamentary democracy you can’t make a fundamental decision that rules out coalitions with other democratic parties automatically,” Steinbrueck told Welt am Sonntag newspaper in an interview. Still, a “very, very great majority” within the SPD doesn’t want a coalition with Merkel.

An Emnid poll published yesterday showed Merkel’s CDU and its CSU Bavarian sister party maintaining their position with 40 percent support, while the SPD held at 25 percent.

The Merkel-allied FDP lost one point to 5 percent, the threshold for entering parliament, while the Green Party stayed at 13 percent, giving neither main party enough to form a government with its favored coalition partner.

Erik Nielsen, chief global economist at Unicredit Bank in London, said the election will “spell the end to the slowdown in a number of European initiatives” and undermine questions among some about Germany’s committment to the currency zone.

The next government “will be as pro-European, and pro euro, if not more so, than the present one,” Nielsen said in an e-mailed note. “The overall message to Europe and the world from the German population on Sept. 22 will be that Germany is as committed to the eurozone as ever. It is time for the remaining euro-sceptics outside the continent to get to grips with this reality.”

The German election has become entwined with the fates of indebted states in the 17-member euro area, with Merkel promising voters that Germany won’t write off any of the loans made to Greece since the debt crisis broke out in 2010.

Schaeuble, in a separate interview with the Bild am Sonntag, ruled out another writedown for Greek debt even as he ensured that euro governments will stand by the country.

“Greece will certainly be helped beyond 2014 as much as is needed, as long as the nation fulfills its obligations,” he told the newspaper.

As euro-region governments on July 26 cleared the release of 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion) for Greece, a European Union official identified a 3.8 billion-euro gap expected in 2014. Options for plugging that include tapping unused funds earmarked for banks, having Greece venture back into the short-term bond market, or having putting in more money, the official said.

A review mission to Greece by the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund -- the so- called troika -- will tackle the question in September. An ultimate decision will be put off until April 2014, when the European statistics office certifies whether Greece had a primary surplus in 2013.

Unless the budget committee of Germany’s lower house of parliament raises objections, the 2.5 billion-euro loan from the European Financial Stability Facility will go forward.

[Bloomberg]

ekathimerini.com , Monday Jul 29, 2013 (09:48)  
Greek credit contraction amounted to 2.4 pct in April
Export-oriented firms benefit from euro rate
VAT hike would put several Athens hotels at risk
ATHEX: May ends with a rise of 0.3 pct
Greece, creditors seek breakthrough as clock runs down
Greece and its lenders enter a decisive weekend of negotiations in a bid to agree on a package of cuts and reforms that would unlock another 7.2 billion euros and allow Athens to keep meetin...
Coast Guard officials linked to migrant traffickers
An investigation by the internal affairs department of the Greek Police (ELAS) has linked the leadership of the country’s Coast Guard as well as officers of the police and of the National In...
Inside News
SOCCER
Wemmer pens three-year deal with Panathinaikos
German defender Jens Wemmer has signed a three-year contract for an undisclosed sum with Panathinaikos, the Greek Super League club announced on Friday. Right-back Wemmer, 29, has been playi...
SOCCER
Panathinaikos conquers PAOK through Tavlaridis goal
A Stathis Tavlaridis goal has brought Panathinaikos to practically within one point from clinching a spot in next season’s Champions League qualifiers, as the Greens made it three out of thr...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Zenobia, Barbara, Christine and the general’s daughter
ATHENS – Lovely Palmyra has fallen to the zombie horde and its people are being slaughtered as the ancient city awaits its fate. It is Friday, May 22, 2015, and from my window I see the end-...
INTERVIEW
The eurozone’s ‘ambiguous’ architecture
“That’s not something you’re supposed to say in public, right?” In his humble way, Thomas Sargent, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, tries to avoid the question posed to him by Kathimerini re...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Wemmer pens three-year deal with Panathinaikos
2. Greek credit contraction amounted to 2.4 pct in April
3. Export-oriented firms benefit from euro rate
4. VAT hike would put several Athens hotels at risk
5. ATHEX: May ends with a rise of 0.3 pct
6. Greece, creditors seek breakthrough as clock runs down
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece creditors say no deal near as G-7 frustration vented
2. Only Greece can end its miserable 'Groundhog Day'
3. 12 Russians injured in lightning strike at ruins on Crete
4. Next Greek aid program isn’t on table yet, says Moscovici
5. Some blame EU Commission for Greek obstinacy in debt talks
6. The eurozone’s ‘ambiguous’ architecture
Today
This Week
1. Hotel contracts with a ‘Greek default clause’
2. Some 300 mln left banks on Tuesday
3. Neither Grexit nor a dual currency will solve Greece’s problems
4. No more 'quick and dirty' fixes for Greece
5. Romantic notions meet reality
6. Endless confusion and worry
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.