Greece can`t act to `detriment` of other Europeans: Berlin
The new Greek government cannot make dramatic changes to its economic policy and expect other European states to foot the bill, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said Thursday.
Berlin: The new Greek government cannot make dramatic changes to its economic policy and expect other European states to foot the bill, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said Thursday.
"Of course every democrat must accept a democratic decision (by the Greek people) just as he must accept the right of the new Greek government to set a new course," Gabriel, who is also economy minister, told parliament.
"But it is of course also the case that all citizens of Europe must be able to expect that changes in Greek policy will not be made to their detriment," adding that relations in Europe were based on the principle of "mutual fairness".
Germany expects Greece to "stick to its commitments" for fiscal and economic reform made as part of a massive bailout package, Gabriel stressed, reiterating a position Berlin has stated repeatedly since Sunday`s election brought the radical anti-austerity party Syriza to power.
Greece`s new coalition government was to hold talks with European Parliament chief Martin Schulz Thursday, a day after announcing moves to roll back unpopular measures that underpin the country`s 240-billion-euro ($269 billion) bailout programme.
Germany, as Europe`s biggest economy and effective paymaster, has lent it the most.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is looking to renegotiate the terms of the bailout and in his first speech to the new Greek cabinet on Wednesday said he wanted a "viable, mutually beneficial solution" to "humanitarian disaster" he said his country has suffered as a result of the budget cuts imposed by its creditors.
His "national salvation" government said it was putting on hold plans to sell a majority stake in the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki, and would also halt the privatisation of the top electricity and petroleum companies.
The announcements sent Greece stocks diving by more than 9.0 percent Wednesday, with major banks tumbling by a quarter, although the market recovered slightly on Thursday.
Schulz said there was no majority in Europe for a write-down of Greece`s towering debt.
"I will encourage Tsipras to finally ask the billionaires who stashed their money abroad to pay their taxes," he told German daily Bild.
"It can be done quickly and helps us in Brussels in fighting tax evasion and is surely easier than a write-down."