Last Update: 12:38
Greek Economy Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou has called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble “dishonest” for denying debt relief for Greece despite his acknowledgement that Athens has made progress in reforms, according to Reuters.
Papadimitriou gave an interview with German newspaper Die Welt published on Thursday. “Even Wolfgang Schaeuble said that we met the requirements, but then he changed his mind,” Papadimitriou told the newspaper. “I haven’t met Schaeuble yet and I don’t want to be impolite, but his behavior seems dishonest to me.”
Schaeuble has often repeated that further debt relief measures for Greece will be decided after the completion of the current bailout program that ends in August 2018.
Greece is hoping that in Thursday’s (today) meeting of euro zone finance ministers creditors will table a new proposal of debt relief measures. On Wednesday, however, a spokesman for the German finance ministry told a government news conference that he expected agreement on a sustainable overall package at Thursday’s meeting, but said there was no guarantee that Athens would get debt relief.
Germany’s view, he said, is that debt relief measures for Greece could only be decided after the existing third bailout ends in 2018.
Papadimitriou said German resistance to debt relief for Greece raises questions about the idea of the euro zone itself. “Greece is being made a sacrificial lamb,” he said.
Papadimitriou also said that Schaeuble should not be making decisions based purely on domestic politics.
The Greek minister said that debt relief is essential for Greece to help expand its economy, clarifying that Athens was not asking for a debt cut, but rather lower interest rates or longer repayment schedules.