Schaueble insists bailout is best way for Greece to exit crisis

Greece must stick to a March deal agreed with its international backers and enact promised reforms to remain within the eurozone, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Wednesday.

“If Greece wants to remain in the eurozone, there is no better solution than the path it has already taken,» Schaeuble said, referring to austerity cuts and reforms in return for a 240-billion-euro debt bailout.

“You can’t have one without the other,» he added.

The Greeks need «to form a stable government and strictly respect their commitments, in the same way that we will respect our obligations to Greece,» Schaeuble said, echoing earlier comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He spoke as Athens scrambled to put together a government after a general election Sunday failed to produce a clear winner, dealing a blow to the outgoing Pasok-New Democracy coalition that struck the bailout deal March 9 with the International Monetary Fund and European Union.

“A vast majority in Greece want at all cost to stay in the euro because the Greeks appear to have understood the advantages of a common currency, despite the constraints,» Schaeuble said.

“It is up to Greece to decide,» he added at a conference in Brussels. «We don’t need to discuss a plan B.”