Berlin appears firmly negative to any one-sided changes regarding Greece’s bailout program, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble highlighted while addressing the Reuters Euro Zone Summit earlier today. Schaeuble’s statements come just a few days ahead of the upcoming first tet-a-tet with Greek Finance Minister Giannis Varoufakis, who has declared he does not intent to extend Greece’s 240-billion-euro bailout package that is due to the end of the month and would instead deliver a new proposal by May.
“We want Greece to continue going down this successful path in the interests of Greece and the Greeks but we will not accept one-sided changes to the program,” he said, adding that he is prepared to meet Varoufakis and discuss the country’s options.
In a similar context, German Chancellor Angela Mekrel’s spokeswoman, Christiane Wirtz, highlighted that the German government is having the “willingness and interest in having good relations with the Greek government,” refuting, though, a report in German newspaper Handelsblatt that wanted European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker willing to remove debt inspectors representing the EU/ECB/IMF Troika from Greece. “The German government sees no reason to scrap this mechanism of evaluation by the Troika, then political decisions made on the basis of the Troika’s findings, and we also see no indications that the European Union is distancing itself from this evaluative process,” she said.
Furthermore, commenting on a possible meeting between the German “Iron Lady” and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Wirtz stressed that the two will have the chance to meet and discuss during the European Union Summit to be held later this month, as no bilateral meeting has been planned between the two sides.
At the same time, German Finance Ministry spokeswoman Marianne Kothe ruled out the Troika’s abolition, as its role has been agreed between the two sides and the mechanism consists a part of Eurozone’s bailout program. “These things just cannot be changed unilaterally,” she pointed out. Finally, asked to define the time of the Varoufakis–Schaeuble meeting, she said it might take place in the next few days, although there has been no such contact as yet.