While Greece is heading towards fresh elections amid political and economic instability, newly inaugurated French President Francois Hollande and Germna Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed their support to the debt-ridden country, saying that they want Greece to stay in the euro.
“I want to reiterate, and we agreed on this, that we want Greece to remain in the euro,” Merkel told reporters at a press conference in Berlin on Tuesday. “Most of the people of Greece want that as well.”
She added the leaders would do all they could to help Greece structurally. The European Union may also “approach Greece with proposals for growth,” Merkel said adding “Greece can stay in the euro area,” and “Greek citizens will be voting on exactly that.”
“I’ll respect the vote of the Greeks whatever it is,” Hollande said. “Yet my responsibility is to give Greece a signal. I see the suffering and challenges that the Greeks feel. The Greeks need to know we’ll come with growth measures that will allow them to stay in the euro zone.”
However Greeks would look rather unlikely to vote in favor of austerity in the fresh elections. May-6 elections results showed that hardly 32% of the Greeks voted for pro-bailout parties conservative Nea Dimocratia and socialist PASOK. Ahead the fresh elections, even ND and PASOK seem to play the ‘bailout modifications” card.
“Re-negotiation is not possible” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble stressed on Wednesday morning.
“This is an aid programme that was prepared down to the last detail, we cannot re-negotiate it,” Schaeuble told Deutschlandfunk radio after Greek political leders said they were unable to form a new government, suggesting that new elections would be held.
“Greece must be ready to accept the aid” offered by the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, Schaeuble said.
“Those who win the elections will have to decide if they accept the conditions or not,” he added.
What’s the point of applying a bailout programme that misses its targets, is a question that neither Schaeuble nor the rest of Greece’s lenders are able to answer.