Greek Debt Crisis

Europeans believe Greeks must show willingness to change

Adriene Hill Feb 16, 2012

Adriene Hill: European markets are down this morning after more hitches in plans to rescue Greece from a messy default. There’s a sense the Greeks have exhausted the goodwill of other European countries.

For more on the “whys” of the growing mistrust, we turn now to Manfred Weber. He’s a German politician and a member of the European parliament. Good morning Mr. Weber.

Manfred Weber: Good morning.

Hill: Now what do Germans, specifically, make of what’s going on in Greece right now?

Weber: From the German perspective, the people are angry because Greece worked not very well in the past, and is not working very well currently. So they are angry. For example, Germany has the situation that over the last ten years, there was
growth of the income of people. For example, there was not a big growth of the income in Greece. There was a big growth of the income of the people. We as Germans did a lot of structural reforms — of social security reforms and so on — inside of Germany. And that was the reason why Germany is now economically very powerful.

Hill: And what would you like to see from the Greek people right now in response to what’s happening?

Weber: Well Europe wants to rescue Greece, but Greece must have the willingness to be rescued. That’s at the moment the open question. The people in Greece must recognize that there must be a change of the behavior, of the whole society. There must be a change. And when there is no willingness to do this, then there is no chance for Europe to rescue Greece at the end. And so they must show their willingness.

Hill: Mr. Weber, thanks so much.

Weber: Thank you.

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