The issue of debt relief for Greece is back on the radar of the German press, with the financial daily Handelsblatt arguing that Finance Minister Olaf Scholz must come clean with the German public about the need for Greek debt relief, and the cost to the German taxpayer.
“Suddenly, Greece does not want any more money from Europe” was the title of an extensive report on the newspaper’s website.
It says that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wants a clean exit from the memorandum without further aid, so as to avoid further budget cutbacks. He wants to link the bailout exit to debt relief, in part for domestic political reasons, and to stem the tide of dissatisfaction over all his broken promises since coming to power in 2015.
“Scholz should tell Germans the truth about the bailout of Greece”, the title of another report stated, noting that management of debt relief for Greece has bedeviled him ever since he took office, on 14 March, as there is strong domestic political opposition.
Scholz can make the difference, the report said, by telling the German public three truths: that debt relief will cost the German taxpayer, that it will be difficult for Athens to manage in the future without external aid, and that the EU no longer needs the IMF for prospective bailouts on its territory.