Dispute over Greek debt relief
The row over debt relief for Greece has once again flared up among the country's creditors in the run-up to the next meeting of the Euro Group on December 5. EU Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici held out the prospect of debt relief in view of the reforms that have already been carried out. Speaking at a bank congress German Finance Minister Schäuble, by contrast, accused the country of lacking the will to push through necessary measures. Are the Greeks suffering from too many or too few reforms?
Is Schäuble just after revenge?
Schäuble has accused the Greeks of living above their means. Given that two thirds of the population is either facing poverty or already living in poverty Avgi writes:
“This is the consequence of seven years of crisis and the repeated 'bailout packages' based on German standards. The bailouts that the former prime minister Antonis Samaras described as a 'fatal medication' when he was in the opposition. With Schäuble one gets the impression that he has lost touch with reality - with all reality, not just the Greek but also the European reality. To the extent that one could think he simply wants to take revenge. But who is he seeking revenge from and why, one wonders. And one also wonders how it can be that he doesn't see all the bad things his own policies are causing almost everywhere in Europe.”
Obsessed with austerity
The finance minister has lost touch with reality, writes university professor Kostas Vergopoulos in Efimerida ton Syntakton:
“Once again 'deadly' Schäuble has exposed his obsession with Greek problems, which stands in stark contrast to the views of other Europeans and the Americans, as well as international organisations. But also to what experience and economic science teaches us. … It is sad that such an important person is so detached from reality. … When public spending has already been cut by 35 percent, incomes and pensions halved and unemployment remains stuck at 25 percent, when everything has only gotten worse in the country in the past seven years, who can still believe that the current downturn is a result of the refusal to implement 'reforms'?”