An end-of-year “tit-for-tat” between official Athens and Berlin resurfaced this week, with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble quoted by Die Zeit as asking, rhetorically, why Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is blaming Berlin for wanting to hurt Greek pensioners.
“Our efforts are aimed at Greece being able to stand on its feet again,” Die Zeit quoted the powerful German FinMin as saying.
“Greece is in its third (bailout) program and without the economic aid reaching into the billions it would have defaulted long ago. Then, Greek citizens would have suffered much, much more. That is why I cannot understand by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras blames the German government of wanting to hurt Greek pensioners.”
Asked by reporters if a greater understanding of other countries’ needs would help, Schaeuble responded:
“Understanding doesn’t mean that you accept, without questioning, that things are going in the wrong direction … creating boundless debts causes more problems,” he said.