A top German body has called for a clear mechanism to force Greece out of the euro if the left-wing Syriza government repudiates the terms of the country’s €245bn rescue.
“Financial support must be cut off if Greece does not comply with its reform commitments,” said the Institute of German Economic Research (IW). “If Greece is going to take a tough line, then Europe will take a tough line as well.”
IW is the second German institute in two days to issue a blunt warning to the new Greek premier, Alexis Tsipras, who has vowed to halt debt payments and reverse austerity measures imposed by the EU-IMF Troika.
The ZEW research group said on Tuesday that the EU authorities should order an immediate stress test of banks linked to Greece, and drive home the threat that they are willing to let a Greek default run its course rather than cave to pressure. “Europe should clearly signal that it is not susceptible to blackmail,” it said.
Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, said in Brussels that debt forgiveness for Greece is out of the question. “Anybody discussing a haircut just shows they don’t know what they are talking about.”
Mr Schäuble said he was sick of having to justify his rescue strategy. “We have given exceptional help to Greece. I must say emphatically that German taxpayers have handed over a great deal,” he said.
In a clear warning, he said the eurozone is now strong enough to withstand a major shock. “In contrast to 2010, the financial markets have faith in the eurozone. We face no risk of contagion, so nobody should think we can be put under pressure easily. We are relaxed,” he said.
Full article: Germany’s top institutes push ‘Grexit’ plans as showdown escalates (The Telegraph)