Roesler gives cautious welcome to Greek vote

Germany's Vice Chancellor Philip Roesler on Monday gave a cautious welcome to a Greek parliament vote on tough austerity measures demanded for a fresh bailout package.

“It all now depends on the troika's assessment of progress in Greece,” Roesler, who is also the country's economy minister, told German television in a reference to the EU and the IMF.

“We remain cautious,” he added, as German bunds dropped on Monday underperfoming most of their euro-area peers.

Roesler, who is leader of Germany's junior coalition Free Democrats (FDP), has seen his party's ratings plunge to three percent in recent polls from 14 percent in 2009.

In the early hours of Monday, the Greek parliament approved a deeply unpopular austerity bill to secure a second EU/IMF bailout and avoid national bankruptcy. But the government of interim Prime Minister Lucas Papademos must come up with a further 325 million euros in budget savings to satisfy eurozone finance ministers, scheduled to meet on Wednesday. Greece's political leaders face the daunting task of implementing the measures even after an election penciled in for April.

In an interview with the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble said Greek promises on austerity measures are no longer good enough because so many vows have been broken, describing the country as a “bottomless pit.”

He said it is up to Greece whether the country can stay in the eurozone.

“The promises from Greece aren't enough for us anymore,” Schauble told the newspaper on Sunday. “With a new austerity program they are going to first have to implement parts of the old program and save.”

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