Log in
A+ A A-

Schauble: Greece Won't Change Policy

German Fin Min Wolfgang Schaeuble expressed confidence that Greece will continue with its reform path, in spite of a cabinet reshuffle. Germany would offer further aid if needed, he added.

The change in the Greek finance ministry position doesn't mean there will be a change in policy," said Wolfgang Schaeuble following a meeting with former Greek finance minister Yannis Stournaras, who was nominated earlier today to become the country's next central bank governor.

He told reporters in Berlin that he didn't yet know Yannis Stournaras' successor but he did not foresee changes in policy after this week's Greek cabinet reshuffle. Schaeuble lauded Greece's reform efforts and said the country has so far met all requirements for receiving previous multi-billion-euro aid packages from international creditors.

"We are willing to think about further measures if conditions have been met," Schaeuble said in response to a question about a third aid package following the previous two bailout packages worth a combined 240 billion euros.

Stournaras said Greece still has a funding gap, but he is optimistic it will be able to plug this without external aid. He warned that one big problem is the liquidity shortage that plagues many southern European countries, including Greece. "There have been positive steps undertaken by the ECB over the past days which give support to banks and companies," the former Fin Min added.

Last week, the European Central Bank cut a key interest rate below zero for the first time, aiming to encourage banks to boost lending to companies.

In a report issued by the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, the Washington-based agency warned that the staggering level of bad loans in Greece--equal to about one-third of the banking sector's loan portfolio--was the biggest threat facing the country's economy and its hopes for a return to growth.

The IMF also warned that banks would likely require additional capital, something that will be determined later this year when the ECB conducts a long-awaited stress test of the euro zone's major banks.