The head of the group of eurozone finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem promised Tuesday to work with the winner of the upcoming Greek election, but urged Athens to stick with austerity. He warned that the current bailout programme must run its course until its end in March, before Greece negotiates its future financial direction and claimed that “the recovery is starting.”
“Whomever will be the new government, we will work with them,” Dijsselbloem told a small group of journalists after a private lecture in Tokyo.
“It does not upset our policies. It does not upset our cooperation with the Greeks.”
“If Greeks stick to their side of the deal… if necessary we are prepared to do more,” he said, adding that “a lot” has already been done to rescue the country.
The comment came amid global market fears that Greece could fall out of the euro — an eventuality dubbed the “Grexit” — if anti-austerity party Syriza wins the election on January 25.
Party leader Alexis Tsipras has insisted Greece would keep the single currency, but he wants further debt reduction and has left open the possibility of defaulting on the country’s hefty repayments.
Dijsselbloem urged Greek voters to see the financial reality in their troubled nation.
“It’s crucial… that Greece is once again financially and economically independent,” he said and added “A lot of effort has been put in, mainly by the Greek people. The recovery is starting. It would be a great waste if we were to allow that recovery to be lost again,” he said.
(full story AFP via France24.com)
PS I suppose Greece’s EU partners finally understood that they cannot intervene and influence voters and that fear mongering does not work anymore. Of course, best it would be if they would say nothing at all….