German envoy says Eurobond debate still open

German envoy says Eurobond debate still open

In an interview with Kathimerini, Germany’s Ambassador to Greece Ernst Reichel has indicated that the prospect of a Eurobond being issued to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is still open despite the failure of European Union leaders to reach an agreement on the subject at a summit last week.

The rejection of the Eurobond idea was “not at all categorical,” Reichel said in a written response to questions from Kathimerini, referring to the refusal by a group of Northern European countries including Germany and the Netherlands of a proposal by nine EU member-states including Greece. Several issues were discussed at last week’s summit, including the possible duration of such a measure, though unfortunately no agreement was reached, he said. “The discussion continues however,” he said. “At the European Council there is a consensus to do everything possible to respond to the challenge in the spirit of European solidarity,” he said.

Questioned about the potential economic impact of the pandemic, and whether Germany as a major European economy should take bold measures to ease the burden on weaker economies, Reichel firstly pointed to the support that Germany gave to Greece during its financial crisis; he added that after this new crisis, which will lead to major economic losses for all countries including Germany, both Berlin and the EU will continue to show solidarity. 

Reichel also confirmed reports citing German intelligence service information according to which last month’s clashes at the Evros border between Greek forces and migrants were instigated by Turkey. He stressed however that the only way to avert similar crises in the future is a new migration agreement between the EU and Turkey. 

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