Merkel meddle: Germany pushes for Greek referendum?
Germany denies reports that Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested Greece holds a referendum on the country’s membership in the “euro club”. However, major political parties have slammed the proposal.
"The Greek people don't need a referendum to prove they're pro-euro," said New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras in a statement. "Her idea is unfortunate, to say the least, and can't be accepted," he added.The far-left anti-bailout SYRIZA party is also against the proposal. "Ms. Merkel is used to addressing Greece's political leaders as if the country was a protectorate," said Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the party.The Communist Party of Greece, which supports the country’s exit from the eurozone and EU, also criticized Merkel. Germany’s disclaimer comes after Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tsiodras stated that Angela Merkel voiced her proposal during a phone call with President Karolos Papoulias. Papoulias, as reported, announced Merkel’s proposal to parties’ leaders. A statement on the Greek Prime Minister’s website says the call did take place and the possibility of a referendum was discussed. However, it has been stressed that the matter was not in the caretaker government’s jurisdiction.A German government spokeswoman said reports on the alleged referendum proposal "are inaccurate."
Meanwhile, concerns about Greece’s fate in the currency bloc continue to grow. EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht confirmed on Friday that “the European Central Bank, as well as the Commission services are working on emergency scenarios if Greece shouldn't make it."If Greece does exit the union, it may spark a massive demand for the return of the drachma. In case domestic producers are not able to meet such demands, global firms like De La Rue will be called to help out. That is why De La Rue, which prints money for 150 countries , should be on stand-by in case Greece has to drop out of the currency bloc, claimed sources in the EU Trade Commission. Whether Greece stays in the eurozone or has to “leave the club” will be determined by the government, which is set to be elected on June 17. If far-left, anti-bailout coalition SYRIZA wins, there is a high possibility that Greece will not be a part of the eurozone. However, some opinion polls show that the pro-bailout New Democracy party is most likely to win.