German Chancellor Angela Merkel told BBC that it would be a huge political mistake if debt-ridden Greece was allowed to leave the eurozone. In an exclusive interview to British broadcaster, Merkel warned that the eurozone would be “incredible weakened” without Greece. She openly said that Greece has still “a long and arduous road” ahead and stressed that the country “has major weaknesses but it is trying to overcome them, be they in the administration or the competitiveness of their business community”.
Below some excerpts from Merkel‘s Interview to BBC:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told the BBC it would be a huge political mistake if debt-stricken Greece was allowed to leave the euro.
In an exclusive interview, she said Germany would do everything it could to keep the eurozone together.
She also calmed fears of further bailouts for eurozone countries, saying important lessons had been learned.
Greece recently won approval for a second bailout of 130bn euros ($173bn; £110bn) intended to help keep it afloat until 2014.
Germany is having to pay more than any other country for the package – angering many German citizens and politicians.
Despite the measures, some analysts fear Greece might need even more help.
Asked how she saw the future for Greece, Mrs Merkel told the BBC’s Newsnight programme that Athens had repeatedly said it wanted to remain within the eurozone.
“It has major weaknesses but it is trying to overcome them, be they in the administration or the competitiveness of their business community. It is going to be a long and arduous road,” she said.
“We have taken the decision to be in a currency union. This is not only a monetary decision, it is a political one. It would be catastrophic if we were to say to one of those who have decided to be with us: ‘We no longer want you’.”
She said the eurozone would be “incredibly weakened” by a Greek exit.
She added: “It would be a huge political mistake to allow Greece to leave. That is why we will be clear with Greece, we will say: ‘If you want to be part of a common currency you have to do your homework but at the same time we will always support you.’”
….“Some countries accepted the rescue package but they don’t particularly relish it. They must follow conditions set out by the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission. What democratic government wants to be in that situation for the duration?