BERLIN (MNI) – A senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s
CDU/CSU-FDP government coalition said in a radio interview Tuesday that
at present he intends to oppose financial aid to Greece.

Germany will help Greece only if the euro is in danger and Greece
has agreed to budget consolidation and structural reform steps, Juergen
Koppelin, a deputy leader of the FDP parliamentary group, told German
public radio Deutschlandradio (DLR).

“As things are now, for me it is rather a ‘No’ to aid,” the
lawmaker said. Turning down Greece’s aid request would be also a
disciplinary measure to show other Eurozone members that one cannot
count automatically on financial aid, he added.

Koppelin argued that a German refusal to aid Greece, “would not be
so dramatic as it is partly portrayed.” It would not lead to a break up
of the Eurozone but Greece might have to leave the Eurozone for some
time, he said.

The Greek currency would then devalue which would boost Greek
exports and help the country to consolidate its budget, the lawmaker

Koppelin demanded that the banks should also contribute to eventual
aid for Greece. It it not acceptable that banks have made big profits
from loans to Greece and the taxpayer has to come up for eventual
losses, he argued.

“I expect banks themselves to make proposals [on helping Greece],
and if the banks won’t do this, politics will have to make proposals,”
Koppelin said. The conditions set by governments for a participation of
banks would then be markedly tougher, he warned.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Monday he was
confident of getting a bill on financial aid for Greece through the
German parliament before Greek’s next debt auction on May 19.

The minister said after a meeting with the leaders of all German
parliamentary groups they had signaled their “basic willingness” to
get such a bill swiftly through parliament.

Schaeuble said an aid bill will be introduced into parliament right
after Greece has finished its deliberations with the EU Commission, the
IMF and the ECB about further budget consolidation measures over the
coming years. “We’re pushing for these talks to be finished by the end
of the week,” he said.

The Minister dismissed calls for a moratorium on Greek debt
payments, stressing that the Eurozone countries will stick to their
outlined aid plan for Greece.

–Berlin bureau: +49-30-22 62 05 80; email:

[TOPICS: MT$$$$,M$$FX$,M$X$$$,M$$CR$,MGX$$$,M$G$$$,MFX$$$]