NEWS

Schaeuble: Greek problem must be fixed for EU’s image

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that Greece will have a chance to return to sustainable public finances with ?mechanisms? to be put in place by its international creditors.

Schaeuble, in a speech at a machine makers? event in Berlin on Tuesday, warned that Europe?s prestige may suffer if it fails to resolve the crisis in Greece more than three years after it played host to the beginnings of the sovereign debt crisis.

?It will be politically difficult for Greece to accept,? Schaeuble said. Yet in ?weighing up the advantages and disadvantages? of the options this year, ?I say it can be done with the appropriate mechanisms.?

Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to do all she can to help keep Greece in the euro. While her government will wait for the report by the so-called troika of international inspectors before assessing Greece?s fate, the decision on continued aid should be guided in part by the potential consequences for Europe?s image in the world, Schaeuble said.

Measures already introduced between euro-region governments and the International Monetary Fund should be strengthened, ?in the sense of control mechanisms, perhaps automatic stabilizers,? to give Greece more than a chance to recover, Schaeuble said. He didn?t elaborate.

?In weighing this up, consider also what people — economic subjects, market participants, investors — in other parts of the world would think when big, strong Europe? isn?t able to solve the problems posed by such a small country as Greece, he said.

[Bloomberg]