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German CSU tells Greek opposition leader reforms must be completed
February 13, 2017 / 10:24 PM / in 8 months

German CSU tells Greek opposition leader reforms must be completed

BERLIN (Reuters) - Greece will not receive any further financial support if it fails to fully implement its economic reform obligations, a leader in parliament for the ruling conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) said on Tuesday.

Hans-Peter Friedrich, parliamentary floor leader for the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), told Reuters that he had told the leader of Greece’s conservative opposition Nea Demokratia party, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in Berlin the reform obligations must be fulfilled.

“We told Mitsotakis that there should be no doubt whatsoever that the conditions for the reform programme must be completely fulfilled,” Friedrich said. “Without implementing the structural reforms agreed upon there will be no further release from the third bailout.”

Earlier on Monday, the German government had voiced support for Greece to stay in the euro zone while the European Commission dispatched a senior official to Athens to persuade it to take on further reforms to salvage its bailout accord.

The future of Greece’s multi-billion-euro financial aid programme is contingent on Athens concluding a second review of progress in its economic reform obligations.

Mitsotakis also met Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday and will meet Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Tuesday.

But months of wrangling over changes to labour and energy markets have been compounded by differences between the IMF and Greece’s European lenders over fiscal targets for Greece, struggling to emerge from years of recession.

A mission of experts from the lenders was expected to return to Athens this week to give their latest state of play report, EU officials said. European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici said he would travel to Athens on Wednesday to help conclude the review.

A deal would release another tranche of funds from this bailout, worth up to 86 billion euros (£73 billion), and facilitate Greece making a major 7.2 billion-euro debt repayment this summer.

But it is a process fraught with difficulty, raising fears of a re-run of the high drama of mid-2015 when Greece teetered on the verge of falling out of the euro zone.

Germany sought on Monday to say that nothing has changed in its desire to keep the euro zone intact with Greece in it.

“For years, euro zone member states, including Germany, have shown active solidarity with Greece with the goal to bring this country to a path of sustainable finances and economic growth,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular government news conference. “It is a mission that has dragged on for many years and we are holding on to it.”

Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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