Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Monday, August 20, 2012

German politicians say no leeway for Greece on reforms

(Reuters) - Senior German politicians stepped up the pressure on Greece to stick to its reforms before the Greek prime minister visits Berlin this week and made clear that there was no appetite in the German parliament for a third aid package.

Greek leader Antonis Samaras, facing mounting social and political discontent at home, is expected to ask for a two-year extension to the deadline international lenders have set when he meets the leaders of Germany and France this week.

Greece, in its fifth year of recession, has fallen behind on its targets and will probably need to make 14 billion euros ($17 billion) in cuts rather than a previously expected 11.5 billion over the next two years to meet terms for international aid, according to Germany's Der Spiegel magazine.

But more than two years after Greece won its first bailout, patience is wearing thin in Germany, Greece's biggest lender, where Samaras meets Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday.

"It is not responsible to throw money into a bottomless pit," Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Saturday at a government open day in Berlin. Read More