German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel Sunday warned debt-hit Greece that patience is running out across Europe as Athens struggles to reach a deal with its creditors to avoid default.
“We want to help Greece and keep it in the euro. However, not just time is running out but also, everywhere in Europe, patience,” Gabriel wrote in a commentary for the mass-circulation Bild daily.
“All over Europe there is a growing sentiment: Enough!”
The warning was unusually blunt for Gabriel, the head of the center-left Social Democrats, which are junior coalition partners to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.
Gabriel, who is also economy minister, attacked Greece’s negotiating process and warned that Germany, seen as Europe’s effective paymaster, could stop supporting Athens.
“Every new supposed ‘final attempts’ to reach agreement are beginning to make the entire process look ridiculous,” he wrote, according to an excerpt from the article to be published Monday.
“Ever more people feel they are being led around by the nose by the Greek government.
“If the agreement doesn’t come soon, it will threaten to snap the patience of many in Europe,” Gabriel warned.
“The game theorists of the Greek government are just about to gamble away the future of their country. And that of Europe as well.”