Angry Germany and France are now telling Greece directly in its face that it, frankly, isn’t that important and relevant to them, and that they basically can just live without Greece.
CANNES, France (Reuters) - The leaders of Germany and France told Greece on Wednesday it would not receive another single cent in European aid until it decides whether it wants to stay in the euro zone.
They also made clear it that saving the euro was ultimately more important to them than rescuing Greece.
After emergency talks with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “Even though we would rather achieve a stabilization of the euro with Greece than without Greece, but this goal of stabilizing the euro is more important.”
Sarkozy hammered home the same message, telling a joint news conference with Merkel: “Our Greek friends must decide whether they want to continue the journey with us or not.”
The EU and IMF said Greece would not receive an urgently needed 8 billion euro ($11 billion) aid installment, due this month, until after the vote because official creditors wanted to be sure Athens would stick to its austerity program.
This was after the Greek leader sent a letter to EU leaders saying he wanted to negotiate the details of the second package before the referendum, they said. The letter angered European officials, raising the level of mistrust toward Greece.
Sarkozy and Merkel said euro zone finance ministers would meet next Monday to speed up decisions on leveraging the euro zone’s rescue fund to build a firewall to protect other weaker members of the 17-nation currency area.
This may be interpreted that France and Germany are ready to abandon Greece, leaving it to bankruptcy, and move on to shield other states in crisis.
China’s deputy finance minister, Zhu Guangyao, said he hoped the uncertainty over the Greek referendum could be contained, adding that Beijing could not consider investing more in the euro zone’s bailout fund given the lack of detail on proposals to leverage it.
German & French leaders to Greek PM: You silly man, look what you have done!
If Greece voted ‘no’ to the referendum, it would face a disorderly default which would hammer Europe’s banks and threaten the much larger economies of Italy and Spain, which other European states may not have the means to bail out.
The chairman of euro zone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, said Greece could definitely go bankrupt if voters rejected the bailout package and Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi said: “Everyone is bewildered and waiting.”
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said the G20 must act swiftly and boldly to contain the crisis, which was spilling over to the rest of the world.
Greece will need to shut down country should money runs out and credit line exhausted
The Greek medias, including dailies traditionally friendly to the government, almost unanimously condemned Prime Minister Papandreou.
Center-left newspaper Eleftherotypia described the prime minister on its front page as “The Lord of Chaos”. Ethnos, another pro-government paper, called the referendum “suicidal”.
As of now, Greece had enough money to keep the country running until mid-December, when it has to redeem or pay the interest obligations of more than 6 billion euros in debt.