Should the IMF depart from the Greek programme, then the programme ceases to exist, suggested the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, during an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

“Should it not come to a successful second review [of the steps Greece must fulfil under its support program], and should the IMF draw the consequences from this, then the current program would be obsolete. The program was agreed to only on the expectation that the IMF would participate,” said Schäuble.

Germany clarified that if this is the case and the IMF exits, a new programme has to go through the German Parliament, the Bundestag. “If it became obsolete, then we would have a situation in which one would need to come up with something new. I wouldn’t recommend this to the Greek government. But I would be completely relaxed. The German Bundestag would first need to discuss and agree on whether or not it approves negotiating a new programme,” Schäuble added.

Germany warns Trump on Russia and Free Trade agreements

“I’ve always been a big supporter of the Trans-Atlantic relationship…I will try to work as constructively as possible with the President that American voters have elected and with the administration he is building,” said the German Finance minister, warning US President-elect Donald Trump that an economy that wants growth must remain accessible: “Whoever wants growth—and I trust this administration will be a growth-friendly one—must be in favor of open markets.”

The influential politician made clear that Russian attempts to influence public opinion through defamation, lies and fake news, must be taken seriously and acted upon.

“Those who are not committed to democracy had better not manipulate the democratic decisions of countries that are inarguably democracies,”  Schäuble said. “We will resist this.”

(New Europe, January 17, 2017)

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