Germany policy toward Greece 'very stupid': Cohn-Bendit

26th April 2010, Comments 0 comments

European Green party leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit on Monday described German reluctance to support financial aid for Greece as "politically very stupid" and said it was motivated by German domestic politics.

The German attitude is "rather incomprehensible when you consider that two of the largest Greek creditors are German banks," Cohn-Bendit, a Franco-German deputy in the European Parliament, told France Info radio.

"They're playing domestic politics at the moment in Germany," where regional elections are to be held May 9 in the country's most populous state, North-Rhine-Westphalia, he said.

But he added that "in the end, it's clear that Germany will take part (in loans to Greece)" and that its current position is "incomprehensible and politically very stupid."

"Since the start of the financial crisis, we've seen Germany playing the economic sovereignty, economic nationalism card," he told the radio.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Monday that Berlin opposed handing over financial aid to Greece unless Athens first presented a credible programme of debt reduction.

"Making promises of concrete aid too soon will only have the effect of taking the pressure off Greece," Westerwelle said on his arrival for talks with his fellow EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

"Above all, we need to see budget consolidation taking place in Greece," otherwise Athens will not be obliged to act "with the necessary application and discipline," he warned.

On Friday, the Greek government formally asked for a 45-billion-euro (60-billion-dollar) EU-IMF loan plan to be activated to help the country out of its increasing debt and deficit crises.

© 2010 AFP

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