The Greek daily Kathimerini said Athens and Brussels are negotiating the use of EU structural funds that draw on the collective EU budget, co-funded by the British taxpayer and other non-euro states.The European Commission is planning use of EU budget funds for the next rescue of Greece, roping Britain into future responsibility for shoring up the eurozone currency structure.
Günther Oettinger, Germany’s EU commissioner, said on Sunday that a third package worth over €10bn will be needed in 2014 and will partly come in the form of direct help rather than a debt haircut for existing creditors.
The Greek daily Kathimerini said Athens and Brussels are negotiating the use of EU structural funds that draw on the collective EU budget, co-funded by the British taxpayer and other non-euro states.Most of the rescue aid so far for Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, and Spain’s banking system has come from the eurozone’s rescue machinery, outside the EU treaty structure. Britain has provided bilateral aid to Ireland, and is involved in EMU debt rescue policies through the International Monetary Fund, but has otherwise stood aloof.
Use of EU budget funds appears not to be targeted against the British government but would have the effect of drawing Britain into the morass, compelled to spend scarce resources perpetuating an EMU policy that many view as deeply misguided. It would also set a precedent that may be extended to Portugal if it need fresh help, and possibly larger countries if Europe’s recovery falters.
The Greek crisis has become a hot theme in Germany’s elections, with opposition leaders accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel of hoodwinking the nation about the true costs of holding the euro together.
Mrs Merkel said on Sunday said that extra help for Greece might be needed in 2014 but said another debt restructuring is out of the question. “I warn emphatically against further debt haircuts. It could set off a domino effect and once again shatter investor confidence in the eurozone,” she said
Analysts said the claims are a smokescreen to disguise the real concern that further debt relief in Greece must come from the EMU bail-out funds, inflicting losses on taxpayers in creditor states for the first time. This would require a line-item in Germany’s budget and cause a storm in the Bundestag.
Professor Bernd Lucke. leader of Germany’s anti-euro party AfD, was attacked by Left-wing radicals over the weekend, one carrying a knife. Prof Lucke said the assault smacked of the “Weimar Republic” where political disputes were settled by “storm troopers” on the streets.
Manfred Güllner, head of the polling group Forsa, said AfD may soon may soon break out above its 2pc to 3pc support level, crossing the 5pc line needed to win seats next month. This would scramble the elections and create an anti-euro voice in German politics that could scarcely be ignored.
“For a long time I thought they had no chance, but I am not so sure any longer. A lot of people out there, speaking very loudly, who say they think they’re are being expropriated by the state. This need watching very closely,” he said.