Merkel rival warns Greece could cost Germans
November 24, 2012 10:28 PM EST
German chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrueck warned in a newspaper interview released on Saturday that German taxpayers could get stuck with a large bill if Greece were to default on its loans.
Steinbrueck told Bild am Sonntag newspaper that Germany has so far only provided loan guarantees for Greece but that could end up costing German taxpayers billions of euros. He said the government should make that fact clear to the public at home.
"One must tell the people that Greece could default on these loans," said Steinbrueck, who will lead the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) candidate against Chancellor Angela Merkel in next September's federal election.
"We in Germany have to make sacrifices to help hold Europe together. We're already part of a 'liability union'," he added.
Many Germans, especially conservatives who support Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), are firmly opposed to any sort of collectivised debt in Europe and especially the creation of euro zone bonds.
Steinbrueck said "so far Germany has not paid a single cent" to Greece but added it was quite possible that could change.
"We were ready to pay money for the costs of German reunification - something all of our neighbours welcomed despite the bad experiences they had had with us," he said, referring to Germany's Nazi past. "Now is time that we have to ask ourselves the question: what is Europe worth to us?"
Steinbrueck said that Greece will not be able to return to the capital markets for another eight years.
"We're going to have to build a bridge for this period and that's going to cost money," Steinbrueck said.
(Reporting By Erik Kirschbaum, editing by William Hardy)
Most Popular Slideshows
- Kate Middleton Suffocated in Kensington Palace, Queen Elizabeth Reported War With The Duchess [PHOTOS]
- Brad Pitt Still in Love with Ex-Wife Jennifer Aniston, Staying with Angelina Jolie for Sake of Kids, Claims Brad's Psychic
- British Style Icon Kate Middleton Fashion Talk With Camilla Parker-Bowles Daughter-In-Law [PHOTOS]
- Transfer News: Manchester United's Possible Transfer Options For This Season
Join the Conversation
- Tourre on stand says email in SEC case 'not accurate'
- Syrian authorities blocking access to needy in Homs - Red Cross
- Faith in European Union at low ebb, EU poll says
- Former UBS banker gets 18 months, $1 million fine, for muni bid-rigging scheme
- U.S. judge halts challenges to Detroit's bankruptcy bid
- James Foley Beheading Video Has Play-Acting Portions – Video Experts Say
- Apple iPhone 6 Release Date, iPhone 6C or 6L Anticipation: Three Things Should Matter To New Phone Shoppers
- Upcoming Sony Xperia Z3 With Dual-SIM Support Gets Approved In China; Full Specifications Revealed; Amber-Coloured Xperia Z3 Tipped
- More Nexus 8/Nexus 9 Release Confirmed with More Leaks and Out of Stock Nexus 7 and 10
- James Foley: Release of Beheading Video by ISIS Meant to Attract More Recruits to Join the Cause – Intelligence
- 2015 Ford Mustang: Right-Hand Drive Pony Car To Be Available In Australia Next Year
- James Foley: ISIS Demanded Multimillion Ransom, US Refused To Pay---Reports