Athens, February 19, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
With a clear insinuation that the greek request was addressed to the Eurogroup and not to Berlin, answered informally the Greek government to the dismissive comment of the German Finance Ministry, as it was formulated after the request for a six-month extension.
“The Greek government submitted a letter to the Eurogroup asking for a six-month extension of the loan agreement. Tomorrow Eurogroup has only two options: to accept or reject the Greek request. Now it will be made clear who wants to find a solution and who doesn’t”, say sources close to the highest ranks of the government.
A few hours after the submission of the greek request, the German Finance Ministry was quick to dismiss it as insufficient, saying that it does not meet the criteria set in the Eurogroup.
“This proposal does not lead to a real solution. It is moving towards a financing bridge without meeting the requirements of the program”, said the spokesman of the German Ministry of Finance, Martin Geiger.
More positive was the first reaction of the European Commission, which stated that the Greek request is a positive first step that will pave the way for a sensible compromise.
A different opinion from that of Schäuble expressed the Vice-Chancellor of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel, who characterised as a positive first step, the greek request for an extension of the loan agreement, emphasising that it is “too early” to speak and say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
The statements made by the spokesman of the German Ministry of Finance, Martin Geiger have caused “nagging” at the German home front and in the ruling coalition.
“I am pleased that Greece has decided to make it clear that it wants a new program”, said Gabriel. “I suggest not to rush to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no'”, he said.
The leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and German Economy Minister reportedly said that the Greek request is the first step in the right direction, according to information from inside the German Finance Ministry, according to the german n-tv.