|Posted by moodhacker on July 2, 2017 at 8:35 AM|
It was the Greek government that chose to cut pensions to meet fiscal targets, not the creditors’ demand, not even suggestion, German Finance Minister Wofgang Schaeuble made clear in an interview published on Saturday July 1, releasing to the Greek people the dark side of the leftist government's handling of poverty and the new fiscal measures that once again make poorer the poor and vulnerable ones. Greek pensioners, are in many cases the ones mostly hurt, by pensions being cut even over 60% , as are the Army veterans, for instance, who worked hard and paid throughout all their life for their pension and their last part of life .
Speaking to Greek newspaper Ta Nea , the German finance minister said, when he was asked about the fact that he is identified by the Greeks as the "the personification of evil" during the austerity crisis years:
"I have tried not to be affected at all, because I can understand that in the political debate it is easier to say: 'unfortunately, we have to reduce pensions because the German Minister of Finance is asking for it.'
But this, concerning the pensions' cut, has not been asked by the lenders, it was the Greek administration’s decision to proceed with pension as a fiscal measure. It is not right to divert the truth and the blame to mislead the citizens", Wolfgang Schauble undelinred, adding that
" You do not know how many Greeks have said to me 'You are absolutely right.' Because I don't want to make the situation more difficult , I m not commenting about all these at all"
On Greece’s bailout program and critiscism that he has been very hard on Greeks, the German minister said that, “I will be pleased to achieve what we all want with the program: to do good things for Greek citizens, Greece to regain access to the markets without a program and not depend on extra help. This must be achieved by the middle of next year.”
Schaeuble also said that European institutions will help Greece access international markets. “And when the Greek economy is no longer dependent on aid, we will see if and if further steps are needed,” he said.
Commenting on Greece’s Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, Schaeuble said that his Greek counterpart speaks openly with him, noting that Tsakalotos sometimes calls him to ask for his opinion when he is in a bind.
On the Greek debt and the Greek government’s insistence on debt easing measures, Scaheuble said that the debt “is not a problem at this time, because Greece does not pay interest-rate subsidies for a long period and has low interest rates. All this is good. In the future, perhaps debt becomes a problem for Greece. We wil discuss it then.” he said.
“The solution to the problems for Greek people lies only in the improvement of the conditions in Greece. There are progress steps, but they are not as fast as people expect. But it is not right to say that others are to blame,” Schaeuble said.
Asked why Greece’s debt is not slashed in half, like it happened with Germany in 1953, Schaeuble replied: “This is a somewhat limited perspective. The situation in Greece, fortunately, is not comparable to Germany after World War II. Greece receives ESM assistance on terms like all other countries. All these countries succeeded in returning to the markets after a program. Greece is now running the third program. After all, it was (Germany’s) debts of World War I, and Germany had no sovereignty, but four powers of occupation.”