German Finance Minister Wolfgang has dashed Greece’s hopes to get a break from its austerity-laden bailouts.
Schaeuble, whose country is putting up the bulk of 326 billion euros ($367.53 billion) in three rescue packages from international creditors to save Greece, is not wavering from his stance it all has to be paid back.
Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, after reneging on anti-austerity campaign pledges, said he hoped that would lead to Greece getting some form of relief even if it’s not a so-called “haircut,” or reduction in what it owes.
That would require taxpayers in the other 17 Eurozone countries to pay the cost of wild spending sprees by successive Greek governments who packed public payrolls with patronage hires in return for votes.
That led in 2010 for the first of the bailouts from the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank Troika, which in a third rescue package in 2015 of 86 billion euros ($96.96 billion) was joined by the European Stability Mechanism to create the so-called Quartet.
The IMF wants to be paid back in full but wants its EU partners to take a hit on what they have loaned Greece but Germany demanded big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings and isn’t backing away from its tough stance.
According to reports, the IMF proposed Greece – after paying the Washington, D.C.-based agency – would have until 2040 to start paying the EU partners and then have 40 years to do it, at an interest rate of 1.5 percent.
According to a report in Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung, the hardline Schaeuble has ruled out freezing interest payments as long as he is Finance Ninister.
The German Parliament should not be asked to approve changes to an agreement that was reached after much deliberation last summer, Schaeuble said, according to the newspaper.