The euro area could handle Greeceâs exit from the currency union because the risk of contagion has waned, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was quoted as saying in comments to the Rheinische Post newspaper.
âWe have learned a lot in the last two years and built in protective mechanisms,â the Dusseldorf-based newspaper quoted Schaeuble as saying in an interview published today, when asked whether the euro area is girded for a Greek exit.
âThe risks of contagion for other countries of the euro zone have been reduced and the euro zone as a whole has become more resistant. The notion that we wouldnât be able to react in a short time to something unforeseen is wrong.â
âWe want Greece to stay in the euro zone,â Schaeuble said. âBut it has to want this and has to accept its commitments. We canât force anyone. Europe wonât go under that quickly.â
As Greece struggles to form a post-election government that backs the budget cuts and economic overhaul required under its financial bailout, anyone who tells Greeks thereâs an easier, less painful way out is spouting ânonsense,â Schaeuble said, according to the interview.
âWe have to tell our Greek friends and partners honestly, fairly and openly that there is no way other than the one we jointly agreed,â Schaeuble told the newspaper. Other European governments and private investors have gone âextraordinarily farâ in making concessions, so Greece âhas to understand that must fulfill its commitments in return.â
(source: Rheinische Post, Bloomberg)