German chancellor candidate Steinbrueck visits Athens
The Social Democrat candidate for the German chancellorship, Peer Steinbrueck, was scheduled to meet with top Greek officials in Athens on Wednesday, as part of a tour across Europe.
Steinbrueck, who has been critical of his rival Angela Merkel’s handling of Greece and the crisis in general, was due to hold talks on Wednesday with President Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras.
The SPD candidate has called for a greater show of solidarity of Greece by the German government. In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine, Steinbrueck suggested that Merkel and fellow European leaders shouldd have shown greater support for the debt-stricken country at the start of the crisis by guaranteeing its bonds.
“That would have sent a strong message to the markets and would have deterred attacks on the eurozone, which lasted for two years,” he said.
Steinbrueck also called for Merkel to “tell the truth” about what bailing out Greece would eventually cost German taxpayers.