According to the Financial Times, a German newspaper poll suggested that 86% of the German population opposes a Greek bailout. Furthermore, there are signs that politicians are playing on the fact that the government pays money to Greece while not cutting taxes at home.
“Greece should seriously considering to withdraw from the euro area.”
The German government have made it clear that a detailed three years programme must be agreed with the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission before the rescue package can be approved. On Friday Greece officially asked euro zone members and the IMF for help, unfortunately for the German government, this comes just before the regional elections in North Rhine-Westphalia on May 9.
According to Quentin Peel in the Financial Times a German newspaper poll suggested that 86% of the German population opposes a Greek bailout.
Furthermore, there are signs that politicians are playing on the fact that the government pays money to Greece while not cutting taxes at home.
“The financial rescue package for Greece has stirred up a fierce political debate in Germany on the eve of a vital state election, with sharp criticism of the government both from opposition left-wing Social Democrats and from liberal and conservative partners in Berlin’s ruling coalition,” Quentin Peel writes.
“The criticism is likely to sharpen today when German finance minister Mr Schäuble meets leaders of the parliamentary parties in Berlin to agree on how to accelerate a vote on the Greek package if and when it has been approved by all 16 leaders of the euro zone.”
Latest opinion polls suggest that neither the center-right alliance of Ms Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and the FDP, nor the centre-left combination of SPD and the environmentalist Green party, would get a clear majority in NRW.
Call for Greece To Leave The Euro Zone
Der Spiegel reports that the leader of the CSU in the Bundestag is calling for Greece to leave the euro zone.
“Greece has not only liquidity but also a fundamental growth and structural problem,” the CSU party leader Hans-Peter Frederick says to DER SPIEGEL. Therefore the country should “seriously considering to withdraw from the euro area,” Frederick says, adding that such a step should not “be declared a taboo.”
The German opposition is now accusing Angela Merkel for “disastrous management” in the defense of an impending state bankruptcy of Greece.
“The prime minister has let things just run to push the vexed issue behind the state election in North Rhine-Westphalia,” says Joachim Poss, SPD finance expert.
Not Depending On Germany
On a technical level, it is also unclear when a German contribution to the rescue package could be released.
Financial Times Deutschland reports that finance minister Schäuble was planning to fast track legislation, though Socialists already rejected it.
Normal legislation could take months. Also there might be conditions attached to it, such as a haircut on outstanding bonds, to bring in private investors.
Schäuble will meet parliamentary leaders today.
Greece is not dependent on a German contribution any time soon.
On May 19, the Greek government could need €8.5bn, which could be covered by the IMF share alone. Also some euro zone members which did not require separate parliamentary approval might be able to lend money earlier, the FT reports, but Schäuble says the agreement on a combination of voluntary and bilateral loans still required full approval by the E.U. heads of state.
Will Loose Their Shirts?
But Greece is confident that the rescue package will be ready mid-May.
Greek finance minister George Papakonstantinou says that the final terms and conditions will be agreed upon early May, also with Germany.
The Greek government is currently working together with the IMF and the EC to hammer out an austerity plan with new measures for the next two years, the Greek Capital magazine reports.
Speaking in Washington Papakonstantinou said that money will be available “rather soon” and his country wouldn’t need to restructure its debt, Bloomberg reports.
Papakonstantinou also warned investors they will “lose their shirts” if they bet the cash-strapped nation will default.
Well, it remains to be seem who will loose what…
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