Greece should pay wages in drachmas, says German MP

Greece should start paying half of its pensions and state salaries in drachmas as part of a gradual exit from the euro zone, a leading German conservative was quoted on Monday as saying.

Alexander Dobrindt, general secretary of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavaria-based sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), has long argued that Greece would be better off outside the euro zone.

"With Greece we have reached the end of the road. There must not be any further aid. A country which does not have the will to fulfil the conditions, or is not able to do so, must get a chance outside the euro,» Dobrindt told the daily Die Welt.

The CSU has often been more critical of EU bailouts than Merkel's party, but his comments underline the degree of German frustration with Athens over its continued failure to meet reform targets under its 130 billion euro aid programs.

"Greece should start to pay half of its civil service wages, pensions and other expenditures in drachmas now,» Dobrint added.

"A soft return to the old currency is better for Greece than a drastic move. Having the drachma as a parallel currency would allow the chance for economic growth to develop."

Dobrindt did not explain how Greece could manage a partial return to its old currency without triggering turmoil in financial markets and a likely run on its banks. [Reuters] -

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