Monday, June 27, 2011

Berlin warns Athens over austerity plan

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble

Source: Press TV

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says the stability of the entire eurozone would be in danger should Greece fail to pass a new austerity package.

Schaeuble pointed out that Greece will not receive its next tranche of international aid unless its parliament passes the package on June 29.

“If the package is rejected, which nobody expects, it would be a reason for the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the eurozone countries and the European Union not to release the next tranche of aid,” the German minister was quoted as saying by the Associated Press on Sunday.

"We are doing everything to prevent an escalation of the crisis for Europe, but must at the same time be prepared for everything," he further explained.

The Greek cabinet approved the new austerity budget plan on Wednesday to help ease its huge public debt despite massive protests in the country.

Greek lawmakers will vote Wednesday on a €28 billion ($39.8 billion) midterm austerity plan and a draft implementation bill on Thursday.

On Monday, the Greek parliament began deliberations on the unpopular austerity plan.

Without passage of the measures, the EU and the IMF intend to block payment of the fifth tranche of Greece's 110-billion-euro bailout program.

Athens needs the 12-billion-euro disbursement to pay its bills next month and avert the eurozone's first sovereign default.

According to polls, three-quarters of Greece's 11 million people are opposed to the austerity measures.

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