Schaeuble returns: Greece to decide whether to fully accept the price for keeping the euro

The election  campaign is hotting up after German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble – who has proposed a “temporary” Greek exit from the euro – said the country still had to decide whether to fully accept the price for its future in the single currency.

“It is a question that the Greek society has to face,” whether it wants to make economic adjustment processes “as a member of a monetary union in which the instrument of external devaluation is not available,” said Mr Schaeuble to German newspaper FAZ.

Athens will have to carry out a radical programme of tax hikes, spending cuts and mass privatisation of national assets to satisfy creditors in return for an €86bn bail-out package for the next three years.

But Mr Tsipras, who lost a third of his MPs to a radical Left breakaway faction last month and will not gain enough support to form a single-party government, has ruled out forming a coalition with ND.

The SYRIZA leader  described any such pro-bail-out alliance as “against nature” and has accused ND of being synonymous with Greece’s oligarchic and corruption-ridden politics. Mr Meimarakis however, has not ruled out a formal coalition with Syriza.

Failure to form a stable coalition after September 20 will be a setback for Greece’s bail-out programme and could provoke a second national vote.

Questions such as the level of debt relief granted to the government are also set to drag on to later in the year, delaying any involvement from the International Monetary Fund in negotiations.