Germany says ‘did not stand alone’ in Greece talks


Chancellor Angela Merkel's government stressed Monday that "Germany did not stand alone" in hammering out a tough deal to prevent a Grexit with other eurozone members.

"This is an agreement that was reached through hard work over 17 hours by 19 member countries of the eurozone," said Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert.

Answering reporters' questions, he rejected the notion that an overbearing "ugly Germany" had pushed through a painful reform package which news site Spiegel Online labeled a "catalogue of cruelties."

Seibert said that many other eurozone leaders had said they "shared the German position", and that Greeces left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had defended the deal on Monday morning.

"Germany did not stand alone at any time in any way," Seibert told a Berlin press conference, several hours after the marathon session ended in Brussels.

"The German chancellor, the whole government, acted on the basis of a European conviction and European responsibility," he said.

Commenting on the reform list, he said: "What it says in this agreement, point by point, are steps that other European countries have also applied and which have led to good results in these countries.

"There is nothing particularly exotic in there… These are measures from a policy tool-kit that aims to kindle free-market forces and for companies to create jobs if given the right conditions," he said.