German lawmaker: no majority for 3rd Greek bailout
BERLIN (AP) — Germany's parliament is unlikely to approve a third financial rescue package for Greece, a senior lawmaker in Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition said Saturday.
The comments by Rainer Bruederle, the parliamentary leader of the Free Democrats party, indicate growing pessimism among German lawmakers at Greece's ability to satisfy creditors' demands for economic reform.
Bruederle told rbb-Inforadio in an interview that it appeared the troika of auditors from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund wasn't getting satisfactory answers from the Greek government on its promised reforms.
Greece's creditors are demanding that the conservative-led government slashes a further €11.5 billion ($14.8 billion) in budget costs over the next two years, requiring further painful wage and pension cuts that the country's three-month-old coalition had promised to avoid.
Bruederle said Greece might be given "several more weeks" to implement the reforms to make up for delays caused by two elections, but that the country can't expect more money from other members of the 17-nation eurozone if it doesn't fulfill its part of the bailout agreement.
"I can't imagine that a further package for Greece would get a majority in the Bundestag, or in the governing coalition," Bruederle said in the interview. "We Germans are helpful, but we're not stupid."
If Greece doesn't receive further funds it would have to print money to avoid bankruptcy, something it can only do if it leaves the eurozone and adopts its own currency, he said.
Bruederle added that such a decision would have to be taken in Athens, not Berlin or Brussels.