Greece should give up budget control: Germany

Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:51am EST
 
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By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN (Reuters) - Greece must surrender control of its budget policy to outside institutions if it cannot implement reforms attached to euro zone rescue measures, the German economy minister was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Philipp Roesler became the first German cabinet member to openly endorse a proposal for Greece to surrender budget control after Reuters quoted a European source on Friday as saying Berlin wants Athens to give up budget control.

"We need more leadership and monitoring when it comes to implementing the reform course," Roesler, also vice chancellor, told Bild newspaper, according to an advance of an interview to be published on Monday.

"If the Greeks aren't able to succeed themselves with this, then there must be stronger leadership and monitoring from abroad, for example through the EU," added Roesler, chairman of the Free Democrats (FDP) who share power with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Reuters reported on Friday that Germany wants Greece to give up control of budget policy to European institutions as part of discussions over a second rescue package.

Greece, which has repeatedly failed to meet the fiscal targets set out by its international lenders, is in talks to finalise a second 130 billion-euro ($172 billion) package.

With many Greeks blaming Germans for the austerity medicine their country has been forced to swallow, officials in Athens dismissed the idea of relinquishing budget control as out of the question.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Sunday Greece was perfectly capable of making good on its promises.   Continued...

 
<p>German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler (L) and Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, January 19, 2012. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch</p>