herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

German anger reaches boiling point during debate

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble gestures during a parliamentary debate on the Greek debt crisis at the German lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble gestures during a parliamentary debate on the Greek debt crisis at the German lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany

One by one, leading figures in the German government made their way to the podium in the sun-drenched chamber of the Bundestag yesterday and accused Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras of betraying his own people.

Frustration in Berlin bubbled over, with politicians questioning whether they could negotiate in good faith with Tsipras if he survives a Greek referendum this Sunday.

Finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, whose tough line in aid talks with Athens has turned him into a hate-figure in Greece, had the harshest words for the Tsipras government. He accused it of dramatically worsening the situation in the country, and said repeatedly “I feel sorry for the Greeks”.

“This government has done nothing since it came into office,” Schaeuble said.

“We don’t know if the Greek government is going to hold a referendum or not, whether it is for or against it. You can’t in all honesty expect us to talk with them in a situation like this.”

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