Eurozone is no longer obligated to rescue Greece and the country is of no “systemic importance” to the common currency bloc, said Michael Fuchs, deputy parliamentary floor leader of Angela Merkel‘s Christian Democrats.
The comments were made in a Rheinische Post interview that was republished by Reuters and they were in response to fears that a SYRIZA-led government would renege on previous agreements with the troika and seek to overturn the existing austerity policy. Fuchs said that SYRIZA cannot “blackmail” their European partners in the common currency bloc now.
“If Alexis Tsipras of the Greek left party SYRIZA thinks he can cut back the reform efforts and austerity measures, then the troika will have to cut back the credits for Greece,” said the German politician.
“The times where we had to rescue Greece are over. There is no potential for political blackmail anymore. Greece is no longer of systemic importance for the euro,” Fuchs said also.
The remarks sound like a clear warning to Greek voters from a senior German politician that Athens might lose support from Germany and the EU in general if it challenges the terms of its 240 billion euro EU/IMF bailout after snap elections next year, the Reuters report says.
Fuchs has often expressed the frustration felt by many politicians and the German public about the pace of reform and political hold ups in twice-rescued Greece.
Meanwhile, the head of Germany’s influential Ifo economic research institute, Hans-Werner Sinn, said that Grexit is an option.
“Further debt cuts will be needed again and again, unless the country is released from the euro zone and allowed to regain its competitiveness by devaluation,” Sinn told German daily Tagesspiegel.