Schaeuble prod comes as focus turns to reforms

Schaeuble prod comes as focus turns to reforms

The German Finance Ministry on Monday sought to play down comments by Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble that Greece would require a third bailout but, coming amid rising pressure by the troika for Greek authorities to enforce reforms, Schaeuble’s comments were seen as a prod in the same direction.

A spokeswoman for the ministry in Berlin insisted Monday that Schaeuble had said “nothing new” and that it would be up to Greece whether it would seek further loans. But a statement issued a few hours earlier by the Finance Ministry in Athens suggested that the government, which has insisted that Greece will not need a third bailout, had taken the comments by Schaeuble seriously. The ministry said Greece is fully funded until the summer of 2015 and that its financing needs from mid-2015 to 2016 would “depend to a great degree” on the results of stress tests on banks due in the fall.

Government officials are examining reforms that must be enforced ahead of a Eurogroup summit on June 19 where a 1-billion-euro tranche of funding is to be approved. They include the abolition of third-party taxes, the completion of new zoning laws, and the finalization of a plan for collecting unpaid taxes.

“There is no scope for going back on what has been agreed.” a European Commission official told Kathimerini.


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