Log in
A+ A A-

German foreign ministry denies Schauble's Grexit plans

The German foreign ministry has most categorically refuted that finance minister Wolfgang Schauble had asked for the exit of Greece from the eurozone, in the past.


As is mentioned the aim of Mr Schauble's efforts were always the maintenance of eurozone cohesion and the stability of the euro. His constant position, as mentioned in Deutsche Welle, quoting a high ranking source at the foreign ministry, is that Germany wants Greece within the euro and it's up to Athens to decide if it wants to stay, or not.

The same source notes that in the past, indeed the possibility of a Greek exit and its repercussions was being discussed at various levels and organs of the EU, but never in any coordinated manner as portrayed in the article by the Financial Times.

In the article, journalist Peter Spiegel, gave such efforts the name “Plan Z.” The German finance ministry had also looked into the issue, and would have been remiss, according to Deutsche Welle source, if it had not done so, noting this was not news, and that Mr Spiegel had visited the German Finance Ministry often before writing the article, and spoken with officials at length there.

As concerns the recently published book by former US secretary of the treasury Timothy Geithner “Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises,” and the related conversation between Messrs Geithner and Schauble, in the summer of 2012, the German foreign ministry counsels a more careful reading of the passage. As the German source notes Mr Schauble had said many in Europe wanted a Greek euro exit, not himself personally.

The actual passage on p.483 says: “A few days later, I flew to meet Wolfgang Schäuble for lunch during his vacation at a resort in Sylt, (….). He told me there were many in Europe who still thought kicking the Greeks out of the eurozone was a plausible – even desirable – strategy.”