German politicians and businessmen have expressed concerns over the prospect of the Greek debt crisis and its potential impacts on Sunday follow a referendum in Greece.
Greek citizens have queued at polling stations on Sunday to cast their ballots in a historic referendum to choose whether or not to accept a debt deal proposal tabled in late June by the country’s lenders.
According to an official estimate, a majority of the Greek people have voted against Europe’s bailout offer.
Speaking to the German newspaper Tagesspiegel, German Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel said there was little chance for reaching a compromise with the government in Athens following a “No”-vote on the recent austerity and reform course in Europe.
“Negotiations over programs worth billions are hardly conceivable…with view of a rejection of the rules of the Euro Zone,” noted Gabriel.
The vice chancellor criticized the Greek government, saying the government led by Alexis Tsipras has torn the “last bridges, over which Europe and Greece could move towards a compromise”, and is leading the Greek people to “a path of bitter renunciation and hopelessness.”
Similar reactions came from Ralph Brinkhaus, deputy parliamentary fraction leader of Germany’s Union parties led by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Brinkhaus told German television ZDF that he expected “poor prospects” for further bailout packages for Greece after Sunday’s referendum.
“The motto remains unchanged for us: aid in return for reforms,” he stressed.
Talking to German television ARD, European Parliament President Martin Schulz said although the vote in Greece strengthened Tsipras in his homeland, but weakened him in negotiations in Europe.
Schulz called for an immediate EU “humanitarian aid program” for Greece given the growing social distress in the country, saying the “poorest of the poor” should not bear the impacts of the uncompromising crisis policy of the Greek government.
Axel Schaefer, deputy parliamentary fraction leader of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), Merkel’s ruling partner in her coalition government, called for an immediate meeting of EU heads of government on Monday, reported German media N-TV.
“The situation is too serious to be left to finance ministers,” Schaefer was quoted as saying.
According to a statement of the German government, Merkel will travel to France on Monday for a meeting with French President Francois Hollande to discuss the Greece debt crisis.
The plan for the crisis meeting between the two European leaders was announced just a few minutes after first survey results showing a slight lead of the “No”-vote were reported.
According to the statement, Merkel is due to travel to Paris on Monday afternoon. “A joint assessment of the situation after the Greek referendum” will be one of the issues of her talks with Hollande.
Reactions to the Greek referendum also came from German businessmen.
Eric Schweitzer, President of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), warned that it would be “incredibly difficult” for German companies engaging in business in Greece.
He told ZDF that practically no invoices were paid anymore since the start of capital controls in Greece, expressing concerns that this situation would continue.
Some renowned German economists have also expressed their opinions, saying the current situation is heading to a potential Grexit in face of the results of Sunday’s referendum. Enditem