German Finance Minister to Greece: Maybe You Should Just Leave

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Capital controls in Greece
Photo: Socrates Baltagiannis/dpa/Corbis/© Corbis. All Rights Reserved.

Not long after the Greek parliament approved an austerity-happy bailout package that would allow the struggling country to stay in the eurozone, if under a mountain of debt, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble wondered if it were time for Greece and the currency to go on a break. Maybe Greece would be happier if it had a rebound fling with the drachma for a while. Not that Schäuble is trying to passive aggressively pressure Greece to leave or anything. No! This is totally up to Greece. “We have not said that we will impose this,” he told Deutschlandfunk radio, while adding that the country’s debt won’t be forgiven as long as it is still in the eurozone, which definitely isn’t an ultimatum. “We can’t, we don’t want to, and no one has suggested it. But it would perhaps be the better way for Greece.”

And in case Greece thinks Germany is having doubts about their relationship, Schäuble reiterated that he wasn’t the one saying Greece should move out. He just heard other people talking about how maybe Greece was being a moocher. The finance minister told journalists earlier this week, “there are many people inside the German government … who believe that this would be, or could be the better solution for Greece and the people in Greece.” Germany votes on the bailout tomorrow and is expected to approve it.

Schäuble did not follow his remarks by adding, “It’s not you, it’s me.” 

German Official to Greece: Maybe You Should Go