Merkel laments 'trust' shattered

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Greece had made conditions worse for itself through the sharp deterioration of its economy in the last six months.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Greece had made conditions worse for itself through the sharp deterioration of its economy in the last six months.PHOTO: REUTERS

BRUSSELS • The latest save-the-euro summit turned into open season on Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, with leaders from German Chancellor Angela Merkel on down fretting about the "trust" shattered by him during more than five months in power.

After an all-night negotiation pitting her against the leftist Greek Premier, the conservative Dr Merkel said Greece had made conditions worse for itself through the sharp deterioration of its economy in the last six months, and closure of its banks for the last two weeks.

Yesterday, she said she would recommend "with full conviction" to the German Parliament to authorise the opening of negotiations with Greece on a third bailout once the Greek Parliament approves the whole bailout programme and enacts initial laws.

Creditor governments essentially ordered the one-time communist youth activist to adopt unquestioned capitalism to earn aid of as much as €86 billion (S$130 billion) and keep Greece in the euro zone.

TOUGH TIMES AHEAD

It will be a long and difficult road.

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, on whether she trusts Greece to implement the painful austerity package

"It will be a long and difficult road," Dr Merkel said when asked whether she trusted Greece to implement the package. She acknowledged Germany had dropped a demand that the agreed summit document state explicitly that Greece should have to take a "timeout" from the euro zone if it did not meet conditions for the bailout. "We don't need a Plan B because the Plan A was approved," she said.

While Dr Merkel was her inscrutable self, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico asserted "a moral right to be very hard on Greece". "The Greeks would do best if they left the euro zone on their own, did their homework and then tried to come back. This is just torture for everybody."

The German Parliament is expected to vote on Friday on the bailout package for Greece, its Speaker Norbert Lammert said. But government spokesman Steffen Seibert said the Greek Parliament must first adopt the whole aid-for-reforms deal: "Only then, we can ask the Bundestag (Lower House) to recall lawmakers for an extraordinary meeting to seek an official mandate to start negotiations."

BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2015, with the headline 'Merkel laments 'trust' shattered'. Print Edition | Subscribe