Central Banks

Monday, July 13, 2015 - 08:27

German Gov Spox Seibert: Greece Deal Good Thing For Europe

By Steven Arons

FRANKFURT (MNI) - The Greece deal achieved hours earlier during a marathon Euro Summit in Brussels was "a good thing" for Europe, German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said Monday at a press conference in Berlin.

Addressing a question whether the government was concerned about media headlines denouncing a "humiliation of Greece", Seibert highlighted that the compromise had been agreed by Greece, pointing to the "large size" of the promised aid to the tune of E82-86 billion as one important concession extracted by Athens.

Seibert's comments were an attempt to downplay the potential reputational repercussion for Europe's largest economy from its role in the negotiations, including the temporary Grexit proposal put forward by the German finance ministry over the weekend.

The government spokesperson repeatedly emphasised that the deal had been agreed by all 19 EMU members, including France, and drew attention to the close coordination between Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, as well as between German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and his French counterpart Michel Sapin.

A deep schism between Germany and France reportedly emerged over the weekend, with France willing to make big concessions to Greece in order to keep the country in the Eurozone and Germany openly toying with the idea of a Grexit, in a thinly veiled attempt to put pressure on the Greek government.

Explaining the demand that the Greek parliament must enact several reforms before Merkel will even ask the German parliament for a mandate to negotiate an ESM rescue package, he reiterated the Chancellor's phrase from her press briefing earlier on Monday that "trust is the most important currency" in the Eurozone.

The German government's faith in Athen's willingness to implement reform has been thoroughly eroded by months of brinkmanship, meaning it wants to see tangible progress before committing itself to any more help for Greece.

--MNI Frankfurt Bureau; tel: +49 69-720-142; email: sarons@mni-news.com
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 207-862-7492; email: lcommons@mni-news.com

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