Schauble: reform or Grexit; Steinmeier: talk of Greece outside the Euro is preposterous

German contradiction concerning Greece’s fate

Just as the German Finance Minister reintroduces the prospect of a Grexit, the German Foreign Minister describes those in Germany who would even entertain the notion of Greece’s departure from the Eurozone as “frivolous.”


On the eve of the critical Eurogroup summit concerning Greece’s second evaluation and its debt relief, German double-talk at the highest political level has clouded Berlin’s stance towards Athens, highlighting contradictions within Angela Merkel’s government.


On the one hand the German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schauble, seems bent on a Grexit, emphasizing that the key issue for Greece if it wants to stay in the Eurozone is not debt relief but the implementation of reforms, while the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is currently in Greece, said: “The reason for wanting Greece out of the single European currency and the Schengen Zone over the past years, even on the part of my country, was very frivolous.”


“Threats are mounting here in your country. There is no European crisis in recent years that has not directly impacted Greece. In my own country – so it seems to me sometimes – they have not understood this yet,” added the German Foreign Minister in his inauguration of the exhibition “Divided Memories” at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki, in collaboration with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias.


The German minister touched on the financial crisis, the refugee crisis and EU-Turkey relations, criticizing those against Greece, saying: “It was very frivolous, the reason for wanting Greece out of the single European currency and the Schengen Zone.  Rather, I would hope that other European partners would support the European project as ardently as you have here in Greece.”