In pinball, the term TILT stands for GAME OVER! Germany lost the pinball and tilted. Berlin run out of ideas as to what preconditions it can ask from Greece to undermine or better ‘boycott’ the 3. bailout package. And it came with the total absurdity. It connected the Refugee’s problem with the 3. bailout package. As if the Refugees flocking daily from Syria to Greece via Turkey was a Greek home made problem. The news …shocked! German Deputy Finance Minister Thomas Steffen had allegedly blackmailed Greece to “settle its refugee problem first, before any aid program is agreed.” The report was published on the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a conservative daily close to German government.
According to FAZ:
“During the teleconference of finance secretaries on Friday night [7. August 2015], the German representative Thomas Steffen demanded that Greece had to get its refugee problem under control first, before the program could be resolved.
Other member states rejected the German proposal as “irrelevant.” (via Der Spiegel)
Have Germany’s absurd demands on Greece hit bottom? Did the ruling conservatives lose total control over their senses? A ludicrous and ridiculous proposal that upset first of all a lot of Germans on internet.
A couple of hours later on Sunday, the German Finance Ministry issued a statement dismissing the FAZ report.
German news agency DPA reported:
“The ministry denies it,” the ministry said, according to the German news agency (dpa), adding that Steffen reminded the teleconference that Greece – according to the July 12 summit agreement – needed to modernize its public administration and that this needs to be integrated in the Memorandum of Understanding.
It goes without saying that this modernization, the ministry told dpa, includes all the sectors of the Greek public administration.” (via Athens News Agency)
Was it a great misunderstanding by the FAZ to confuse the modernization of Greece’s public administration and the Greek refugee problem?
The illogical sounding denial of the German Finance Ministry apparently did not convince even its coalition government partner, the Social-Democrats.
SPD parliamentary group vice Axel Schäfer criticized the Ministry saying: “Germany must allow the third aid package, instead of trying to disable it or prevent it. Humbleness is better than arrogance.”
Α German friend on Twitter said that he had heard of this Refugees vs Aid package crazy idea for Greece in recent.
Now, I wonder whether FinMin Schaeuble’s ‘next’ will be to ask Greece to pass a bill of “Refugees prior actions” through the Parliament, before he opens his wallet and give Greece 20 million euro in form of 3. loan and bailout that nobody wants to give and take.
The Schaeuble’s Refugee prior actions bill could also contain Greece’s commitment to solve the Syria, the ISIS, the Libya and the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, tame Russia’s president Putin, as well as warn Spain over Gibraltar water’s violations. And definitely provide permanent Peace in the World and End Hunger in Africa.
In other news, the European Commission approved today a €473 million aid for refugees it Greece. The money will be given within a period of 6 years. 125,000 arrived in Greece only in 2015.
PS As Greece cannot deal with the refugees’ problem mainly due to economic reasons, the debt-ridden country needs ministers with guts to simply to issue papers for the refugees and buy them one-way tickets to Berlin.