Merkel ally Kauder says Greece has not done enough

BERLIN, June 5 (Reuters) – Greece has not done enough to repair its finances and needs a firm hand to keep it on track, a key parliamentary ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Volker Kauder, parliamentary floor leader for Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), told Bild newspaper in an interview to appear on Monday that any decision on whether Greece would get further aid was still far away.

“Greece is trying, but its efforts are insufficient,” said Kauder, a close Merkel ally and powerful figure in parliament. “We’ve got to use a firmer hand to lead Greece on the route to solidarity (with eurozone countries).

“We can’t let ourselves be influenced by the demonstrations in Greece,” added Kauder, a leading conservative voice in the CDU. “It’s time that Greece finally becomes a state with central European standards. That’s the only way we can prevent Europe from going to seed.”

Thousands of Greeks rally every evening outside parliament in Athens chanting “thieves, thieves!”.

A year after it turned to the EU and the IMF for a bailout, Greece is struggling to meet targets and convince its lenders that it should get extra funding to buy it more time to resolve its debt crisis.

Bleak macroeconomic data and increasing fears that Greece will have to extend debt maturities or impose a loss on investors highlight persistent risks to the current three-year reform plan.

Kauder said that there has not yet been any decision in Berlin about whether to approve further aid for Greece.

“Whether there will have to be another aid package for Greece has not yet been decided,” he said.

“But on the other hand, I would warn against ostensibly simple solutions,” he added. “If the money for Greece is switched off no one knows what impact that will have on us.

“The Americans thoughtlessly allowed Lehman Brothers to go bankrupt and that triggered a worldwide economic crisis. That should be a lesson to us,” Kauder said.