Thursday 26 April 2018

German 'wise men' wanted to see a Greek exit from euro

Earlier Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem had also struck a pessimistic note
Earlier Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem had also struck a pessimistic note

Bruno Waterfield

A Grexit, or Greek exit, from the euro would strengthen the EU's single currency, according to Germany's council of economic "wise men".

The five-member Wirtschaftsweise, or 'Wise Men', have written to Germany's conservative 'Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung' newspaper to play down fears that the euro would be torn apart by Greece leaving.

"It could strengthen the credibility of the current institutional framework and thus strengthen the integrity of the euro area, instead of triggering chaos outside Greece," the council wrote in a letter.

Doubts

The view was reflected elsewhere too yesterday: "I think they've now reached a point where they will tell Greece 'if you really want to leave, leave'," Edward Scicluna, Malta's finance minister, told the 'Malta Today' newspaper.

"I think they mean it because Germany, the Netherlands and others will be hard."

German finance ministry officials had described Greek proposals for an extension of the country's €240bn bailout as a "Trojan Horse" because the Leftist government had not explicitly agreed to "conclude" austerity targets agreed in 2012.

Meanwhile, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who chairs the eurogroup, earlier had also struck a pessimistic note.

"I do not have to tell you it's quite complicated," Mr Dijsselbloem said.

"There is still reason for some optimism but it is very difficult," he said before the talks concluded. (© Daily Telegraph London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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