Eurozone will support Greece: Germany's Schaeuble

2nd November 2011, Comments 0 comments

The eurozone will continue to support Greece if it wants to remain in the single currency and presses ahead with necessary reforms, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Wednesday.

"If Greece will accept the burden and efforts required by the aid programmes, if it wants to stay within the eurozone, then we will support it," Schaeuble told the daily Financial Times Deutschland in an interview.

"The crisis can only be overcome if we stick together," he said.

Schaeuble said he was confident the Greeks would not vote against the EU debt deal in an upcoming referendum announced by Prime Minister George Papandreou earlier this week.

"I believe in the power of arguments," he said. The second aid package for Greece agreed by Europe's leaders last week offered "the best guarantee for Greece to return to health in a manageable way and get back onto its legs on its own.

"I expect that Greece will respect and fulfil its agreements and duties," the minister said.

In a separate interview with the regional daily Hamburger Abendblatt, Schaeuble said it would be "helpful if we could have clarity as soon as possible about which path Greece wants to take."

And he added: "We assume Greece is aware of its responsibility and will continue to support measures that have been unanimously agreed by everyone."

Greek premier Papandreou's announcement of a confidence vote and then a referendum on the debt deal triggered turmoil on the world's stock markets on Tuesday, as it wrongfooted EU leaders who had laboured hard to put the rescue package together last week.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have summoned Papandreou to a meeting Wednesday, on the eve of the opening of the G20 summit in Cannes.

© 2011 AFP

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