Bloomberg News

Schaeuble Sees Chance for Greece to Manage its Debt Woes

February 02, 2012

(Adds comments on Greece from second paragraph.)

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said he sees a chance for Greece to manage its debt woes provided the country fulfills the commitments under its economic adjustment program.

“Greece needs a new program, there’s no question about that, but Greece itself must create the conditions for it,” Schaeuble said today in an interview on n-tv television. “We can’t pay into a bottomless pit.”

The public sector doesn’t need to contribute more to the second aid program for Greece over 130 billion euros ($171 billion) “because we’re shouldering everything anyway,” he said. Private creditors should contribute because “they made sufficient profits earlier and cashed in on the high bond yields.”

European Union leaders left a Jan. 30 summit in Brussels without an accord over how to plug Greece’s widening budget hole. Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos said he would try to meet German-led demands for a bigger debt writedown by investors and deeper budget cuts by his government.

“Greece is the most difficult case, but also a very special one,” Schaeuble said, declining to answer the question whether Greece might need a third aid program. Asked whether he thinks the euro region’s composition will be the same at the end of the year, Schaeuble said “I hope so.”

--Editors: James Hertling, Jeffrey Donovan

To contact the reporter on this story: Rainer Buergin in Berlin at rbuergin1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net


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