German opposition urge Chancellor Angela Merkel to be 'honest' on Greece

Ms Merkel was called to address the German parliament hours after a key meeting of European finance ministers failed to reach agreement on ways of bringing down Greece’s debt mountain

German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces stinging accusations she was behaving dishonestly over the euro crisis to placate German voters as European ministers and the International Monetary Fund remained deeply divided on how to resolve Greece’s debt crisis.

Ms Merkel was called to address the German parliament hours after a key meeting of European finance ministers failed to reach agreement on ways of bringing down Greece’s debt mountain. Germany in particular, opposes a new debt write off for Athens.

Ms Merkel suggested a partial increase in bailout funding for Athens could be in the offing and claimed there was a good chance of reaching a Greek debt settlement at a second round of talks, on Monday.

She said: “People may yearn for a quick escape from the Greek crisis – but it won’t be solved like that.”

Ms Merkel tried to silence her critics by claiming her conservative-led coalition was the “most successful since German reunification”. She was soon rounded on by her prospective challenger for chancellor, the opposition Social Democrat MP, Peer Steinbrück, who accused her of performing a “dance of the veils” over Greece.

Mr Steinbrück, a former finance minister, said it was “obvious” that German taxpayers would soon be asked to make financial sacrifices to help bail out Greece. “Be honest to yourself and make a clear statement,” he insisted.

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