Greece should exit the eurozone by year?s end and not receive any more aid, a German regional finance minister has said in a Sunday newspaper interview, further stirring debate on the issue.
Markus Soeder, finance minister in southern Bavaria state and a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the region?s sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel?s CDU, said the euro itself was ?right and important?.
?But when a country like Greece on a continuing basis cannot pay back debts, it must leave the eurozone,? he said.
The CSU has often been more critical of EU bailouts than Merkel’s party, and the German public has doubts about further guarantees for struggling euro zone nations.
Soeder told Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday that Greece should quit the euro zone this year.
“According to my forecast, Greece should leave the euro zone by the end of the year,» he said. «Germans can no longer be the paymaster for Greece. Every new bit of aid, every relaxation of the guidelines would be the wrong way to go.”
Soeder added giving Greece further financial help «is like trying to water a desert». He also said: «At some point, everyone’s got to move out of mum’s house and for the Greeks the time is ripe for that now.”
Last month, German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said the ?horror? of a potential exit by debt-mired Greece had worn off and Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer has also not ruled it out.
Soeder?s remarks prompted criticism from deputy head of Merkel?s Christian Democratic Union parliamentary group Michael Meister who said such a debate was damaging and did not help solve the problems.
?That?s a decision for the Greek government to make and the last thing they need is advice from Germany,? he told the Tagesspiegel newspaper according to a pre-released article.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who has already called for calm in the rhetoric over the eurozone debt crisis, said: ?Everyone should pay attention to what they say and how they say it.?