Germany’s parliament has backed more aid for Greece. That came in a non-binding vote after the Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble laid out strict German conditions for a new rescue package for Athens.
He gave assurances that private investors who have lent money to Greece – that is the banks – would also share the pain along with the governments who are contributing to the bailouts.
Schaeuble said: “If there are doubts about the ability of Greece to pay back its debt and we must win time with a new package, then the participation of the private sector in the solution is unavoidable.”
As he was warning of disastrous consequences if Greece is not helped and the country suffers a disorderly default on its debt, the Greek government has been defended its latest austerity package.
Prime Minister George Papandreou told parliament: “I realise the problems of families, of workers, of the unemployed, of the pensioners.This programme is not pleasant, this medicine is not pleasant and the treatment requires dedication and commitment.”
However, Papandreou’s ‘I feel your pain’ speech is unlikely to stop the nightly anti-austerity demonstrations in Athens nor the almost daily protest marches of workers in companies earmarked for privatisation.