Top German lawmaker: Emphasis on growth, not debt relief

EPA/PATRICK SEEGER via Naftemporiki

Naftemporiki — “A difficult balancing act” is the way a top one German lawmaker described Wolfgang Schaeuble’s task at the upcoming Eurogroup meeting, where Greek debt relief is expected to dominate the agenda along with the expected conclusion of an utterly delayed second review of the ongoing bailout program.

Speaking to Deutsche Welle over the weekend, Ralph Brinkhaus, a Bundestag lawmaker and deputy chairman of the CDU Parliamentary Group, echoed the standing “Schaeuble line”, namely, that the Greek economy’s growth is a priority at the moment, instead of a discussion on debt relief.

The 49-year-old conservative MP and reputed “Schaeuble insider” repeated the German finance minister’s populist and to a great extend misleading argument that “…a significant portion of the Greek debt weighs on the neck of European taxpayers. There’s constant talk of sacrifices by the Greeks; this is correct and we must recognize and respect this. But I would be glad if the Greeks also saw the performance of other countries, not the economically stronger ones, but the poorer (countries) in the EU. The money that the Greeks want has been collected with great cost to taxpayers.