Friday

27th May 2022

Schaeuble: Greece has 'no alternative' to austerity

  • (Photo: World Economic Forum)

German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Monday (14 January) urged Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras to drop his opposition to bailout-linked austerity measures, saying there is "no alternative" if Greece wants to stay in the eurozone.

It was the first time the veteran minister and ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel received the young leftist leader, who has blamed Germany for the hardships which Greek people are enduring.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"If there are disagreements, it is good to have a dialogue," Schaeuble's spokeswoman Silke Bruns told a press briefing on Monday morning.

After the meeting, the positions of the two men did not appear to have moved any closer, however.

According to one official, Schaeuble told Tsipras "unequivocally that there is no alternative to the path already taken, the implementation of an economic adjustment programme."

The German minister urged Tsipras to back the programme, which includes recently-passed changes on income tax which Tsipras' party, Syriza, voted against.

A recent upgrade by six notches in Standard & Poor's rating of Greek debt is proof the reforms are working, Schaeuble said.

For Tsipras, what matters more are the legions of unemployed people and hospital patients with inadequate care, whose situation, he said, is getting tougher each day as government slashes expenditure to please creditors and markets.

"Austerity is like a bad medicine for the patient. We have to stop austerity," he told this website on the eve of the meeting.

It was the same message he repeated in his talks with Schaeuble, he said afterwards.

Greece is currently in its sixth year of recession.

It has had two bailouts and a partial reduction of its debt. Unemployment is at almost 27 percent, suicide rates have gone up and the neo-Nazi "Golden Dawn" party is growing in popularity.

Greek opposition leader 'vindicated' by IMF

Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras feels "vindicated" by the IMF's recent change of tone on austerity, he told this website ahead of a meeting with the German finance minister.

Opinion

The austerity blame game

Public broadcasting is a crucial public service and a central means of embracing participatory democracy through well informed citizens.

Greek taxmen may be dodging taxes, too

Tax inspectors in Greece are underpaid, work in poor conditions and 130 of them have bank accounts abroad - possibly for tax evasion, a report by the IMF and EU says.

Agenda

EU economic forecasts out next WEEK

The European Commission will next Friday unveil its latest forecast for economic growth and employment in EU countries.

EU Commission extends borrowing curbs in 2023

The European Commission on Monday proposed to extend suspension of fiscal borrowing rule in 2023 — but advised prudence amid already rising real interest rates.

Commission grilled on RePowerEU €210bn pricetag

EU leaders unveiled a €210bn strategy aiming to cut Russian gas out of the European energy equation before 2027 and by two-thirds before the end of the year — but questions remain on how it is to be financed.

News in Brief

  1. Dutch journalists sue EU over banned Russia TV channels
  2. EU holding €23bn of Russian bank reserves
  3. Russia speeds up passport process in occupied Ukraine
  4. Palestinian civil society denounce Metsola's Israel visit
  5. Johnson refuses to resign after Downing Street parties report
  6. EU border police has over 2,000 agents deployed
  7. Dutch tax authorities to admit to institutional racism
  8. Rutte calls for EU pension and labour reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. EU summit will be 'unwavering' on arms for Ukraine
  2. Orbán's new state of emergency under fire
  3. EU parliament prevaricates on barring Russian lobbyists
  4. Ukraine lawyer enlists EU watchdog against Russian oil
  5. Right of Reply: Hungarian government
  6. When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin
  7. Orbán oil veto to deface EU summit on Ukraine
  8. France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us