Schaeu­ble: Europe won’t turn its back on Greece

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Europe will not turn its back on Greece and the as­sump­tion of the ro­tat­ing Euro­pean Union pres­i­dency of­fers Athens a great op­por­tu­nity, Ger­man Fi­nance Min­is­ter Wolf­gang Schaeu­ble said yes­ter­day. In a pre-re­lease of an in­ter­view to be pub­lished in the mass-cir­cu­la­tion daily Bild to­day, Schaeu­ble said, “The pres­i­dency will show the Greek peo­ple that Europe is its fu­ture.” The re­spon­si­bil­ity of tak­ing over the EU pres­i­dency “gen­er­ates iden­tity, self-con­fi­dence, pride. The Greek EU pres­i­dency is a huge op­por­tu­nity for the coun­try and for Europe,” Schaeu­ble said. The Ger­man min­is­ter re­jected sug­ges­tions that Athens could use its term as the bloc’s pres­i­dent to ease the pres­sure on bailed-out Greece to re­form, say­ing that the task of over­see­ing re­forms lay pri­mar­ily in the hands of the so-called troika made up of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank and the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund. Schaeu­ble also ruled out any new write­down of Greece’s debt, but hinted at the pos­si­ble pro­vi­sion of fur­ther aid. “We’ll de­cide in the mid­dle of the year if we have to help Greece still fur­ther. If the coun­try sticks to its course of re­forms, if it ful­fils the nec­es­sary con­di­tions, we won’t turn our back on it,” Schaeu­ble said.

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