German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has accused the newly elected Greek leftist-led government for backsliding on reforms and destroying the economic progress achieved by its predecessors. Moreover, the Eurogroup hardliners leader highlighted that no one expects a resolution of the standoff with the Greek government next week over the long-awaited fresh bailout funds. “It is a tragedy,” he said earlier today at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, adding that Greece needs to become competitive in order to stop being a “bottomless pit.”
The German Finance Minister’s insulting comments come at a time when Greece’s European partners are concerned that the time is running short for reaching an agreement that could prevent a Grexit. At the same time, the German Finance Ministry denied a report published in German daily newspaper Die Ziet that Berlin is currently working on a proposal that will keep Greece in the single currency in case of a default.
Schaeuble is among European officials that have openly questioned the chance of an agreement between Greece and its partners before the April 24 Eurogroup in Riga, Latvia. The Eurozone Finance Ministers meeting aims to assess whether Athens has made enough progress with its reforms to achieve a liquidity injection from its 240-billion-euro bailout package. Various European leaders have been pressuring Greece to specify its reforms list as the danger of running out of cash by the end of April is now visible, while debt repayments to creditors as well as salary and pension obligations are drawing closer.