Saturday, January 28, 2012

Germany Pushes for EU Budget Control Over Greece

Wall Street Journal
January 28, 2012

Frustrated with the slow pace of implementation of budget overhauls in Greece, Germany is leading a push to force Athens to cede some control over its budget decisions to Europe, a move met by skepticism by European Union officials.

A European official familiar with the matter said on Saturday that the reason for such a move—made as a condition of disbursing another round of bailout aid—is "the insufficient progress on Greece's debt reduction, which in part is the result of the country's extremely decentralized budget process."

The official said that any decision to place Greece's budget process under increased European control would "have to be taken consensually with Greece" and cited the German proposal as "one idea among many under discussion." The Financial Times previously had reported the effort by Germany.

A spokesman for the Greek government rejected the German plan, saying it is up to Athens to negotiate its debt-reduction plan and to implement budget overhauls. "The government stresses that this responsibility lies exclusively with the Greek government," said Pantelis Kapsis, the Greek government spokesman.


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