Berlin wants EU 'reconstruction commissioner'
(FRANKFURT) - The EU should appoint a special commissioner to ensure the implementation of reforms in debt-wracked member states, German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said in an interview Friday.
"My wish would be that the EU Commission appoint a reconstruction commissioner," Roesler told the business daily Handelslbatt.
"The reconstruction commissioner would be primarily responsible for growth impulses and the implementation of reforms in countries" needing EU aid, the minister said, adding that the portfolio could be assigned to one of Brussels' existing 27 commissioners.
"I can't understand why the Greek side is opposed to this proposal," Roesler added.
"I sometimes get the impression that the Greek people are fully aware of the sacrifices being asked of them, but that the elites in Greece don't want to forego their privileges."
Roesler's call echoed similar comments by Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker in Wednesday's Die Welt newspaper in which he called for a European commissioner to oversee Greek economic reconstruction.
Roesler also voiced disappointment over resistance by Greece to offers of support from Germany.
"It's all the more important now for Greece to be ready finally for more cooperation," he told the paper.
An internal economics ministry document, seen by AFP earlier in the week and dated February 17, had described as "discouraging" the Greek response so far to its offers of help.
Germany has already suggested a beefed-up EU monitoring of Greece, proposing that a commissioner appointed by eurozone finance ministers would be able to veto budget decisions made by Athens.
Athens angrily rejected any calls for it to give up control over its budget and the European Commission also said there was no question of Greece surrendering budgetary control.
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