German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her government’s hard stance on Greece’s options to renegotiate its bailout program.
Germany’s leader said that Athens must either fulfill all requirements of the current bailout program, or ask for an extension beyond its expiry on February 28.
Ms. Merkel spoke briefly and informally with Greece’s new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday’s European Union summit in Brussels. After the meeting, she commented that these are the two options Greece has.
The German chancellor insisted on European policies and procedures saying that, “Europe always aims to find a compromise and this is the cornerstone of Europe’s success. Compromises are made when the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and Germany is prepared to compromise. However, we also have to make clear that Europe’s credibility depends on us sticking to rules.”
Asked to comment on Greece’s negotiation strategy, the German Chancellor replied, “I’m not interested in strategies, I’m interested in results.”
Ms. Merkel raised the stakes ahead of the critical meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Monday. The Greek side is optimistic that there will be a compromise at the end. However, if Germany refuses to compromise, Greece may lose financial aid for the first time after the economic crisis started in May 2010.