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article imageGermany wants Greece to delay elections, adopt technocrat gov

By Katerina Nikolas     Feb 17, 2012 in World
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has suggested Greece delay elections planned for April, and instead adopt a technocrat government free of politicians.
Relations between Germany and Greece are becoming increasingly tense. Germany has expressed its doubts about Greece's commitment to austerity measures and reforms necessary to secure the bail out loan to prevent bankruptcy in March. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has now seen fit to interfere in internal politics in Greece by suggesting that Greece delay elections planned for April and instead adopt a technocrat government for a year. The FT reported that Schäubles technocrat government would not include Greek politicians.
This latest suggestion follows a German proposal that Greece give up budgetary sovereignty, which Digital Journal reported on in January. That suggestion was met by almost universal derision, with most European nations believing that Germany had over stepped the mark and insulted Greece.
In addition to Schäubles idea of telling Greece to postpone its elections, Athens News reported he has also raised the matter of bail out loan funds being held in an "escrow account to ringfence funds for debt payments" again. This idea was first raised after Greece rejected the notion of handing over its budget sovereignty, and would mean that funds could not be used for any state spending until all debt interest payments are made.
Interestingly the hard line is being pushed by the German Finance Minister rather than Chancellor Angela Merkel. Neverthless Schäuble has been perceived as insulting Greece, leading to Greek President Karolos Papoulias saying "I cannot accept Mr Schaeuble insulting my country. Who is Mr Schäuble to insult Greece?"
Even as Schäuble continues to make such politically charged statements, Greek officials have announced they have agreed the final set of conditions necessary to secure the bail out loan, by settling on the further 325 million euro of cuts that the Troika demanded. However with relations so tense between the leading EU player Germany, and Greece, it is by no means a done deal that the loan will be issued, or if issued it could have further German demanded conditions attached that could infringe on Greek sovereignty.
More about Greek elections, Evangelos Venizelos, wolfgang Schäuble
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