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Germany says no to Greece debt cut

Friday, July 10, 2015 - 01:48

There is resistance among many German conservatives over Greece's new reform proposal. It comes ahead of meetings this weekend which could decide the country's future in the currency bloc. Ciara Lee reports.

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A restored Euro sign is reinstalled outside the former ECB headquarters in Frankfurt. Visitors to Germany's banking capital will once more be able to pose for photographs in front of the giant currency symbol. An accidental metaphor perhaps - the sculpture was dismantled on Monday only a day after Greeks voted "no" to more austerity measures on their ravaged economy. And its reinstallation began just as Athens presented a new package of reform proposals to its euro zone creditors in a race to protect the future of the euro. But Germany is not convinced by the latest offering. Greece's biggest creditor has made a small concession acknowledging the country will need some restructuring to its debts, but not at any cost. Government Spokesman Steffen Seibert. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN STEFFEN SEIBERT, SAYING: "The chancellor expressed - and not for the first time - the belief of the German government that a haircut in the sense of a debt cut, would be a qualitative change in the currency union and therefore, Germany would not agree to that." Senior German conservatives also expressed doubts over whether Greece really has the will to implement tougher reforms. (SOUNDBITE) (German) SPOKESMAN FOR FINANCE MINISTRY, MARTIN JAEGER, SAYING: "It would not be enough if the proposals were the ones from the end of June, just presented in new packaging. We need comprehensive reforms." Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem has said euro zone finance ministers may make a "major decision" about the new proposal on Saturday. (SOUNDBITE) (Dutch) EUROGROUP CHAIRMAN, JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, SAYING: "We are not done with the Greeks, we have a Eurogroup meeting tomorrow to find out if the Greek proposals offer a sufficient basis, and to decide whether we can begin the formal process." The ECB and IMF are currently assessing Greece's new submission and whether its debts are sustainable. For now though, the country's fate in the euro zone still hangs in the balance.

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Germany says no to Greece debt cut

Friday, July 10, 2015 - 01:48