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Schaeuble Glad didn’t have Greek-Style Cuts at Home

Germany Greece EU_Hera schaeubleGermany’s finance minister said Friday he was glad he did not have to implement the sort of painful austerity drive imposed on Greece in his own country.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, Wolfgang Schaeuble said the social unrest sparked by the crippling austerity measures implemented in Greece was “certainly not trivial”.
“I wouldn’t want to have to implement such a programme in Germany given what the Greek population has had to bear,” he told the assembled business leaders and global movers and shakers.
At the height of the eurozone debt crisis, bankrupt Greece was forced to implement a sweeping programme of deep austerity cuts in return for billions of euros in bailout aid from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
Athens has slashed public spending, laid off public sector workers, cut wages and hiked taxes. The result has been six consecutive years of recession, soaring unemployment and widespread social unrest.
Germany was seen at the forefront of efforts to impose the austerity and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Schaeuble himself became hate figures for some in Greece.
“Greece has made tremendous progress but Greece is still by far the most difficult and complicated country” in the eurozone, Schaeuble said in his Davos speech.
The minister was more bullish on the wider eurozone emerging out of a recession which he said “would have been much worse” without robust German growth helping other countries.
“We have managed to save the euro from the crisis despite all the messages of doom,” he said.
“You can see that in every meeting, at the WEF (World Economic Forum), at the G20. Europe is no longer the main culprit for all these crisis situations.”
(source: expatica)

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