Germany set to defend euro, wants tougher EU rules

BERLIN, April 25 (BestGrowthStock) – Germany will aid Greece in
defence of Europe’s shared currency if Athens enforces austerity
measures, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Sunday, in
a speech also calling for tighter EU budget rules.

Speaking to a convention of the Free Democrat party he leads
as the junior coalition partner to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s
conservatives, Westerwelle said Germany would not let the euro
zone be endangered by a single member state’s problems.

“We are ready to fulfil our duty to the currency and do it
justice,” he said, adding that Greece must take firm action to
reign in its deficit. “Prosperity and social justice require a
stable currency, but we aren’t giving out any blank checks.”

Debt-stricken Greece appealed to its European partners and
the IMF for emergency loans on Friday, yielding to overwhelming
market pressure to set in motion the first financial rescue of a
member of the euro zone. [ID:nLDE63M0XZ]

Germany stands to be the largest state aid contributor to
Greece if the loan package is approved, and Berlin wants to
ensure that Greece’s savings effort are absolutely credible.

“Greece must get its own house in order, for a start, and
aid can only be given as last resort to protect our own
currency,” Westerwelle said.

In a newspaper interview published on Sunday, Finance
Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that Greece must agree to tough
new austerity measures before it receives any financial aid, and
failure to do so would endanger such support. [ID:nLDE63O048]

The Greek crisis showed the euro zone needs stronger rules
and oversight mechanisms to ensure member states obey the
Stability and Growth Pact debt limits, Westerwelle said.

“We need a stronger right of intervention for the European
statistics agency Eurostat, we need an oversight system for
budget deficits, we want to strengthen the stability pact.”
(Reporting by Brian Rohan; Editing by Louise Heavens)

Germany set to defend euro, wants tougher EU rules