Greece must pursue reforms after new elections: Germany

29th December 2014, Comments 0 comments

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Monday that Greece must stick to agreed economic reforms regardless of the results of a snap election due next month.

"These tough reforms are bearing fruit, they have no alternative," Schaeuble said in a statement.

"New elections change nothing in the accords struck with the Greek government" for an international bailout of the debt-mired country, he added.

Greek lawmakers failed for a third time Monday to elect a new president, triggering a snap election that could bring to power a radical anti-austerity party threatening to undo many economic reforms.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras proposed the legislative vote for January 25.

The European Union called on Greek voters to stick by the reforms adopted as part of a massive international rescue package for the eurozone member state.

Germany, as the paymaster for eurozone bailouts, has spearheaded a drive to demand swingeing spending cuts in exchange for any aid, arguing that budgetary discipline offered the only long-term solution to the debt crisis.

The pain experienced by ordinary Greeks as a result of the reform programmes has helped fuel support for the far-left party Syriza.

Syriza, which declined to vote in the presidential election in order to force snap polls, wants to raise salaries and pensions, halt layoffs and freeze the privatisation of state assets -- key elements of reforms demanded by Greece's EU-IMF creditors.

Schaeuble in his statement said that Germany had "great respect" for the reforms Greece has implemented since 2009 and insisted Berlin would continue to "support Greece on its path of reforming so as to help itself".

But he added: "If Greece chooses another path, it will be difficult."

"Every new government must respect the agreements made by its predecessors," he said.

Earlier a spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel declined to comment on what she called "domestic political developments" in Greece.

"We will have to analyse them and then decide on an approach," the spokeswoman told reporters.


© 2014 AFP

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