He does not know any serious figures about a financial gap at the moment. Schauble told the Handelsblatt newspaper (Friday) that further aid had been promised “on condition that the Athens government complies with the measures imposed on it, and in the expectation that the sums involved will be much smaller than before. Because then Greece would generate a primary surplus – that is, a budget plus before interest payments on loans.
Where the additional money will come from has not yet been decided, he said: “But we have the ESM rescue fund – and it is far from exhausted,” Schauble said. There will certainly not be another debt cut, he affirmed. After the first debt relief, in which private creditors waived more than half of their claims, the finance ministers of the euro zone clearly said: “That was a one-time action, there will be no second debt cut. Never again!”
Schauble defended his move to clearly advocate a third bailout program for Greece. From the point of view of the opposition, the government has thus done an about-face. Schauble’s sentence had also caused criticism in the coalition. In the interview, he called the accusation that he was trying to conceal anything “nonsense”. He is glad that now the general public has perceived very precisely what he has said again and again since 2012: “We will have to deal with new measures for Greece in the middle of next year.”
The finance minister denied that the government was downplaying risks of the euro bailout: “The federal government has never claimed that the euro bailout will be free of charge.” So far, Germany has only taken liability risks. “But to expect a total default is not serious. This case will not happen.” Asked if he could guarantee that, Schauble said, “If you want it that way: Yes.”
According to SPD candidate for chancellor Peer Steinbruck, Schauble’s statements on the new Greek bailouts slipped out unintentionally. The minister recently blabbed in the provinces near Hamburg, said his predecessor Steinbruck on Friday during the election campaign in Mainz. The federal government had not explained the need for a third bailout package for Greece beyond the Bundestag election on 22 December. September actually want to conceal.
He himself believes that crisis countries like Greece must be helped with a second Marshall Plan – also to combat the high youth unemployment rate.