ECONOMY

Germany won’t accept one-sided changes to Greek bailout, says Schaeuble

Berlin will not accept any one-sided changes to Greece’s bailout program, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told Reuters in an interview on Monday.

Schaeuble said he was concerned public support in Germany for the euro was dwindling, partly in response to the European Central Bank’s plan to buy hundreds of billions of euros of government bonds to prop up the euro zone economy.

“You have to see the danger, there’s no question about that,” he said at the Reuters Euro Zone Summit.

Greece has made more progress than most people thought possible but must uphold its commitments, Schaeuble said.

“We want Greece to continue going down this successful path in the interests of Greece and the Greeks but we will not accept one-sided changes to the program,” he told Reuters at his office in Berlin.

Schaeuble said he would be pleased to meet Varoufakis if the Greek minister wanted to visit Berlin. The German minister’s spokeswoman said earlier on Monday that they would meet in coming days, though there was no precise schedule as yet.

Varoufakis, who is touring EU capitals to try and make the case for a news Greek debt deal, was in Paris on Sunday, is in London on Monday and will hold talks in Rome on Tuesday.

The International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission need to stay involved in the Greek bailout even if the word ‘troika’ has a “symbolic impact” on some Greeks, Schaeuble said. This was agreed under EU treaties, he said, adding: “You can’t change them.”

[Reuters]