Athens, December 28, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
Once again Greece is the target of harsh criticism by the German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. This time Schaeuble critisised the way Greece is handling the refugee crisis.
“All countries with external borders have the right to request solidarity support, including Greece. The Greeks, however, have not been honoring the provisions of Dublin for years”, he says, according to Deutsche Welle, referring to earlier judgments of German courts, which prohibited the reforwarding of refugees to Greece due to the bad detention conditions.
“The Greeks should not look to others for responsibilities of their problems, they need to see by themselves where they can improve. What is missing are structural reforms that will make the country more competitive”, he adds.
Asked if there was a disagreement with A. Merkel, both on the issue of the refugee crisis and the question of the management of the Greek crisis, Schaeuble answered:
“Not at all. The chancellor is glad that I am minister of finance. She knows he can trust me. I have supported her more than any other. However, not by asking her from morning till evening what she likes. This is not the job of a minister. Respecting the authority of the chancellor to formulate the policy direction, a minister should do his own thinking. I’m not convenient, but I am honest”.
According to DW, Schaeuble described the guarding of external borders sine qua non for dealing with the refugee crisis and believes that in 2016 will dominate the perception that this crisis can be solved only jointly.
Finally, asked if he is pleased that Greece remains a member of the euro zone, given that the country plays an important role in securing the European borders, as well as the recording and resettlement of refugees, Schaeuble says that the two issues are not related, since securing the external border is the duty of all European states.