ECONOMY

Germany adds investment card

The disbursement of the sixth installment of Greece?s international bailout package, totaling 8 billion euros, and the realization of possible German investments in Greece will depend on the efficient application of structural reforms at a speedier pace, Germany?s Economy Minister and leader of the liberal Free Democratic Party Philipp Roesler has warned.

According to the German edition of the Financial Times on Friday, Roesler sent a letter to his Greek counterpart, Michalis Chrysochoidis and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, in which he expressed serious concern regarding the halt a week ago in the negotiations between the Greek government and the representatives of the country?s creditors – the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank – known as the troika.

He is said to have stressed that only when Greece fully applies the terms of the bailout memorandum will it receive the next tranche and the German investment initiative can be considered.

Roesler is scheduled to head a German business delegation to Greece in early October which will discuss German investment, particularly in the energy sector.

Prior to that, on September 27, Prime Minister George Papandreou and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will address the Federation of German Industries on the subject.

Germany is the biggest single contributor to Greece?s bailout package.

In July, Roesler said reviving the Greek economy was ?simply not a matter of money.?

?Germany and Greece have hugely different business cultures, and as long as the Greek economy doesn?t introduce at least some of the German standards, the willingness to invest will remain low,? he said. Last year, German exports to Greece represented only 0.6 percent of the total, while imports from Greece amounted to just 0.2 percent.

Roesler?s warning coincided with a wave of European pressure on Greece to intensify efforts for meeting its fiscal targets, as eurozone governments are trying to persuade generally hostile parliaments to endorse the 160-billion-euro plan to strengthen the European Financial Stability Facility, agreed on July 21.

Late on Thursday, France became the first country to approve the latest eurozone bailout package for Greece, after the country?s Senate gave the go-ahead.