Thursday

26th May 2016

Germany promises Portugal 'programme adjustment' after Greece

  • Portuguese minister Gaspar (l) got a nod from Germany (Photo: Council of European Union)

German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble on Thursday was caught on tape promising Portugal an adjustment to its programme after a deal with Greece is sealed, the first time an EU minister has publicly spoken of such plans.

The footage was caught by Portugal's TVi24 cameraman during the 'roundtable' shots at the beginning of a eurozone ministers' meeting on Thursday (9 February).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Schauble, unaware of the rolling camera, is seen telling his Portuguese counterpart Vitor Gaspar that after the Greek deal is done, Berlin will approve a loosening of the conditions attached to Portugal's €78 billion bail-out programme.

"If at the end we need to make an adjustment to the programme, having taken large decisions about Greece ... This is essential. But then, if necessary, an adjustment of the Portuguese programme, will be prepared," he says.

The Portuguese minister is grateful saying: "Thank you very much."

"No problem," Schauble replies. "It is that members of the German parliament and public opinion in Germany does not believe that our decisions are serious, because they don't believe in our decisions about Greece."

Gaspar notes the "substantial progress" his country has made, eliciting agreement from Schauble: "Yes, you did progress."

Portugal - the third euro-country to receive a bail-out after Greece and Ireland, is struggling with high borrowing costs and recession after it pushed through an aggressive programme of spending cuts and selling of state assets, such as the country's main energy company REN to state companies from China and Oman.

Hedge funds have already started speculating on Portugal being the next in line for a debt restructuring programme similar to the one currently negotiated with Greece, but EU officials have repeatedly stressed that Athens' situation is "unique."

Schauble on candid camera.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUTrade Unions Back New Undeclared Work Platform
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCould targeting children’s fitness boost academic performance?
  3. World VisionDeclares the World Humanitarian Summit a Positive Step in a Longer Journey to Ending Need
  4. EJCPresident Dr. Moshe Kantor on Brexit and the Jewish Question
  5. Swedish EnterprisesNew rules for posted workers - Better Protection or the End of Posting ?
  6. World VisionWhy The EU Needs to Put Children at the Centre of Emergencies - In Their Words
  7. ACCASustainability Reporting in Danger of Losing Its Momentum Says ACCA and CDSB
  8. Dialogue PlatformDiversity as Heritage of Humanity! Join the “Colors of the World“ Show at the EP
  9. Centre Maurits CoppietersNew Responses to the Basque Peace Process? MEP Juaristi on Stateless Challenges Conference
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceImproving Cardiovascular Health Begins by Closing the Gap in Sex Disparities
  11. IPHRBrussels Talks to Take Stock of Human Rights in Turkmenistan
  12. Belgrade Security ForumOpen Call for Applications! Join the Events Team at the 6th Belgrade Security Forum.