He may be a socialist, but France’s economy minister showed no support on Thursday for Greece’s new left-wing government and its push to overhaul the terms of its bailout.
“We all know the situation about Greek debt. There is no question to change our state of mind, to change our views. They (Greece) have past commitments,” Emmanuel Macron, France’s economy minister since August 2014, told CNBC.
The battle lines between Greece and the rest of Europe were drawn up on Tuesday when Syriza called off the planned privatization of Greece’s Port of Piraeus. Then on Wednesday, the party, led by Alexis Tsipras, announced the reintroduction of the minimum wage, as well as the rehiring of sacked government workers and a halt to other privatization schemes.
Also on Syriza’s agenda is easing the repayment terms of the 240 billion euros ($295 billion) in loans the country has received since the height of its financial crisis in 2010—a hope that German politicians such as Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble have been quick to dismiss this week. The bailout came with strict conditions on government spending and structural reforms. These measures have had a crippling effect on the Greek economy and renegotiating them has been a key part of Syriza’s election campaign.
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