President Karolos Papoulias has delivered a speech in which he decried German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's insults to Greece. The President said "I cannot accept Mr Schaeuble insulting my country. Who is Mr Schaeuble to insult Greece?
Doubts about Greece remaining in the eurozone have been hinted at this week, as it is considered the impact of the country's default would be less catastrophic to the remaining eurozone nations than previously feared. Additionally, in spite of Greece's parliament approving the new package of austerity measures there is talk of the bail out loan needed to pay interest on debts in March, being delayed until after the Greek elections .
On Wednesday German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned "we can help but we are not going to pour money into a bottomless pit" the Local reported. He went on to say "We have always said that all conditions must be fulfilled before we can take final decisions and that the time was pressing. I have doubts that all conditions have been fulfilled."
Greek President Karolos Papoulias reacted angrily to Schaeuble's words. The President, who at 82 is a veteran of the resistance against the Nazis in the Second World War, said "I cannot accept Mr Schaeuble insulting my country. Who is Mr Schaeuble to insult Greece?" (Athens News)
The President also took umberance with Schaeuble's remarks that Greece may prove incapable of sticking to the bail out loan conditions once elections are held. He said "who is going to to guarantee that what we decide now will be valid after the elections?" Schaeuble's question is the reason why the loan may be delayed until after the elections, ensuring that the Greek people have no democratic choice but must adhere to Troika imposed austerity measures regardless of which political party is in power.
President Papoulias said that Europeans should work together in the hour of Greece's crisis, saying "We were always proud to defend not only our freedom, our country, but Europe's freedom too."
The President's words come at a time when Greek resentment towards Germany is high, following a barrage of insults in the German press towards Greece. During a recent protest in Athens demonstratorsburned the German flag, and calls for the issue of unpaid war reparations [/i to be addressed ]are increasing.
On WednesdayDigital Journal reported the Greek President took the unusual step of giving up his 300,000 euro annual salary, to show support for the people of Greece.