Schäuble: The solution is in Athens – We trust them, but we demand it

Schäuble: The solution is in Athens – We trust them, but we demand it

Athens, May 25, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble gave a wide interview on Sunday on German radio Deutschlandfunk ahead of the summit meeting of his counterparts of the group of the seven richest countries in the world to be held next week in Dresden. In the meeting will also participate the IMF chief Christine Lagarde and the head of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem and as Wolfgang Schaeuble assured, the Greek issue will also be discussed without searching for solutions.

“The Greek government has every support”

“The solution of the problem should happen in Greece because the Greek government in a joint statement of the Eurogroup of February 20 reaffirmed that it will implement the agreed program”, Schaeuble recalls. “The successful completion is a prerequisite for what may follow or not follow. Unfortunately, so far we are still far (…) The Greek government has enough problems to overcome, I wish them good luck. Of course have every support, but they can’t avoid solving the problem”.

In the question of the journalist whether he trusts the Greek government, Schäuble speaks of the respect that must exist in international relations and that it is a government elected by the Greek people. “I would not want to exchange tasks with my Greek colleague, his position is not easy, but he has the right to take him seriously, as does the entire government”, said the German Minister of Finance. “So we trust them to do what they must, but we also demand it”.

“They should fulfill their commitments”

The German Finance Minister does not want to address a warning to Greece because, as he says, the Greeks know the stakes and admit themselves that the situation is very tense. “The problems have their causes in Greece”, he insists, “Greece has received the most help than any other country. That is something those in charge should tell to the Greek people. Now Greece must implement its commitments”.

Wolfgang Schaeuble refused to get into the substance of the negotiation in a question by the journalist, whether an alternative would be another extension of the current program. “We need not talk of alternatives, Greece pledged on February 20 for the implementation of this program”, he stresses. And when the journalist asked him whether in his opinion Greece is closer to a solution or a bankruptcy Schaeuble replied diplomatically: “In any case Greece needs to make even more efforts to implement what has promised to do”.