Greece vote is about its future in Europe, euro: Germany
(BERLIN) - Greece's new elections are a vote on the country's future in Europe and the euro, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Wednesday, amid ongoing political turmoil in Athens.
"The Greek people should know what they are voting about. It's not about party politics, but about Greece's future in Europe and the euro," Westerwelle said in a statement released by his office.
"We hope and also at the same time expect that everyone in a decision-making capacity in Greece is aware of his responsibilities," Westerwelle said.
"If we want to fight the debt crisis, then we need to build confidence and confidence comes only through competitiveness and reforms that lead to more growth and jobs," he added.
He reiterated Germany's position that they had "solidarity" with the Greeks but that "solidarity is not a one-way street".
"We have to say clearly: what has been agreed must stand. It is an agreement in the interests of everyone," he said, referring to an EU-IMF bailout deal that came with strict conditions for Greece.
Greece will go to the polls for the second time in just six weeks on June 17, the Athens News Agency said Wednesday, as its troubles threaten to propel it out of the 17-nation eurozone.
Earlier Wednesday, a spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany hoped that Greece would elect a government "capable of acting."
"It's our wish and the wish, I believe, of all Greece's European partners, to see as quickly as possible a government capable of acting," he said, adding the challenges facing Greece were "without doubt, big".
Asked about aid due to be paid to Greece at the end of June, Seibert declined to comment, saying only that it was not a decision for the middle of May.
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