German Fin Min : Greek Voters Decide to Continue Reform Path
06/17/2012| 05:11pm US/Eastern
LOS CABOS, Mexico--German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Sunday welcomed the results of the Greek election as a clear sign that Greece was ready to continue on the path of economic reform.
Preliminary results from the election show that Greece's conservative New Democracy party emerged as the leading party in the new parliament, squeezing out the far-left Syriza, which had demanded an end to the austerity program to cut Greece's debt.
"If the preliminary results of the parliamentary elections in Greece are confirmed, Nea Dimokratia should obtain the largest number of seats in the new parliament. The German Federal Government would consider such a result a decision by Greek voters to forge ahead with the implementation of far-reaching economic and fiscal reforms in the country," Mr. Schaeuble said in a statement in Berlin before boarding a plane later Sunday for the summit of leaders of the Group of 20 industrial and developing nations.
Mr. Schaeuble added that in order for the Greek program to massively cut its debt by 2020 to succeed the country needs to establish a stable government. Sunday's elections come after elections on May 6 failed to produce a government.
The Greek left-wing tried to gather support to end monitoring of the country by the so-called troika commission of experts from the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. While Germany has rejected any renegotiation of the terms of the second Greek bailout plan, Mr. Schaeuble suggested Sunday that the troika could reassess the plan and make adjustments. It is widely expected that Greece will be given more time to reach its debt goals as long as Athens agrees to implement the agreed fiscal and economic reforms.
"The Eurogroup stands by its commitment to Greece," said Mr. Schaeuble in the statement. "As soon as a new government is appointed, the Troika will consult with the authorities in order to assess the program's implementation, form a view about the current situation, and work toward making the adjustment program succeed."
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