German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble raised the prospect Monday of Greece holding a referendum on its EU-IMF bailout, saying it could finally resolve the drawn-out crisis.
Schaeuble’s comments came ahead of the latest meeting of eurozone finance ministers aimed at thrashing out a deal with Greece’s new leftist government.
“If the Greek government thinks it should have a referendum, then it should organize a referendum,” Schaeuble told reporters in Brussels.
“Maybe this would be the right measure to let the Greek people decide if it is ready to accept what is necessary — or if they want to have the other thing.”
European Parliament President Martin Schulz however said that the issue of a Greek referendum was «a question on which the Greeks have to discuss on their own.”
Led by Germany, Greece’s creditors want rigorous reforms from Athens but Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s radical government has so far refused to deliver.
Tsipras’ government, led by the radical Syriza party, has previously warned of the possibility of a referendum to seek approval for its tough stance.
Schaeuble ruled out any deal at Monday’s Eurogroup — the meeting of the 19 eurozone finance ministers.
“Unfortunately there is not sufficient progress to reach a decision today, whatever it is,” he said.
“We want to help Greece but Greece has to do its part.” [AFP]