ECONOMY

Gabriel warns Athens against breaking pledges

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Greece on Wednesday that it needed to stick to its agreements with international lenders and suggested the eurozone could cope if Athens decided to leave the single currency bloc.

Gabriel said the aim was to keep Greece in the eurozone for political, economic and cultural reasons, but added that this would require the new anti-bailout government to implement measures agreed with international lenders.

He warned that Athens would have to pick up the tab if it did not deliver.

“If Greece wants to deviate from some of these measures, it must bear the cost itself rather than exporting this to other European countries via a haircut or other such ideas,” Gabriel, who is also deputy chancellor and leader of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), told a news conference.

Asked about the possibility of a Greek eurozone exit, Gabriel said that would be the “wrong solution” but that it was ultimately up to Athens.

He said that unlike two years ago, there was no longer any risk of contagion in the eurozone due to concerns about Greece’s new government.

[Reuters]