The Slovenia Times

Finance Minister Against Concessions to Greece and Spain


Pointing to the uncertain political situation in Greece, Šušteršič said on the margins of a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels that Greece has been sent "a clear message" that continuing with measures adopted by the previous government "is the only chance they have".

He said that future eurozone membership is above all in the hands of Greece now, while suggesting that political compromise can often be found very fast after things start going in the wrong direction.

The minister pointed to the Netherlands, where an agreement on the budget was found quickly after the fall of government, but also to Slovenia where the measures adopted by the new government would have probably been out of the question one or two years ago.

"Greece might sober up as well," Šušteršič said, while responding negatively to announcements about a possible softening of the conditions set to Greece.

He stressed that eurozone members had to justify aid to Greece to their citizens in recent years and insisted that there was little room for adjustments to Greece's views.

The minister is also against concessions to Spain, which could potentially be allowed to delay the 3% of GDP budget deficit target for a year.

"This is a difficult decision, since it sends the wrong message to countries who are making an effort to meet our goals."

According to Šušteršič, such a bonus to Spain would only be acceptable if it is needed to save the banking system or similar things, meaning that the discrepancy would be in the common interest of everyone.


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