NEWS

Bundesbank president questions troika report

Eurozone finance ministers are expected to receive the troika?s report on the state of Greece?s finances and the progress of its consolidation program on Monday but the head of Germany?s central bank, Jens Weidmann, has questioned how impartial the survey might be given that politicians had already decided to continue funding Athens.

?How can you objectively assess the completion of the program if you are too afraid of the consequences of a negative conclusion?? Weidmann said to the Rheinische Post newspaper on Saturday. ?I am relying on the fact the troika will deliver both an unembellished and honest assessment of the situation in Greece before payments are delivered.?

Weidmann?s comments came as a former International Monetary Fund official Arvind Virmani insisted that Greece?s debt problem could not be solved without a restructuring. ?It has been my view since early 2010 that Greek debt cannot be made sustainable without a drastic debt write-off,? he said.

?The greater the delay, the more the cost to remaining creditors… and the Greek public.?

Virmani, who represented India at the IMF for three years until October, added, ?The stronger euro countries have refused to acknowledge this fact, even after the IMF started, perhaps a little reluctantly, to recognize it.?

Meanwhile, in an exclusive message to Sunday?s Kathimerini, the German Ambassador to Greece, Wolfgang Dold, said the reform measures passed by the Greek Parliament on Wednesday were ?part of a necessary strategy toward consolidation.?

?Germany has great respect for what has been achieved so far,? he said. ?Germany also has great respect and compassion for the hardship for many people which goes along with the reforms taking place now.?