Germany warns Greece should help itself
By Gobby Wang
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2012-05-11 11:57 AM

European Union paymaster Germany warned Greece on Thursday that European partners could only go on aiding debt-ridden Athens if it sticks to an international bailout program rejected by voters in a general election.

"Greece can rely on the solidarity of Europe, but if Greece does not help itself, there is nothing to be done," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told a news conference. "Whether Greece is ready to do what is necessary - only the Greek people can decide.

“Growth through structural reforms is sensible, important and necessary. Growth on credit would just push us right back to the beginning of the crisis, and that is why we should not and will not do it,” Merkel said in a speech to the German parliament on Thursday.

Merkel’s version remains focused on slow-moving economic measures, such as making it easier to hire and fire workers that raise short-term pain before yielding long-term benefits.

Europe’s leaders battle between deficit-cutting austerity and policies to promote growth have begun to take shape. Germany, austerity’s champion, will do enough to fight the Continent’s imbalances and do it soon enough to put its weaker countries on more solid economic footing.

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