Germany not warm to Greek bailout

Christopher Werth Mar 4, 2010
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Germany not warm to Greek bailout

Christopher Werth Mar 4, 2010
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TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: The Mediterranean nation of Greece today said it will sell bonds to help rid itself of massive debt. It’s urging Germany and other European Union partners to help send a message of confidence. Meanwhile, the Greek prime minister, George Papandreou, heads to Berlin tomorrow to ask for an E.U. rescue. That meeting is there because Germany will likely have final say on any bailout. And as Christopher Werth reports, the signs aren’t looking good.


Christopher Werth: The Greek government yesterday laid out cutbacks and tax hikes worth up to $6.5 billion. Government workers could even lose their Easter bonuses.

The Greeks hope the cuts convince Germany and others that the country’s staggering debt load can be reduced. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel sounds less than sold on the plan. She has said the meeting tomorrow won’t focus on any bailout.

Simon Tilford of the Center for European Reform says the rhetoric is heating up:

Simon Tilford: Well domestically, the Germans feel that they have spent years reforming, cutting social entitlements, making sacrifices, and that the Greek’s have not, and that why should they provide support to a country, which the German’s consider is the architect of its own problems?

He says Germany may instead push for the International Monetary Fund to lead any Greek rescue.

Some German lawmakers have another idea: they’ve suggested Greece sell off a few of its picturesque islands to pay off some the debt.

In London, I’m Christopher Werth for Marketplace.

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