Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s Finance Minister, has broken ranks with Angela Merkel and said Berlin could no longer rule out a “Grexit”.
As new polls revealed the German public’s increasing frustrations with Athens, Mr Schauble said: “Because the responsibility and the possibility of deciding what will happen lies only with Greece, and because we don’t exactly know what those responsible in Greece will do, we cannot rule it [a Greek exit from the euro] out.”
Before the Greek general election in January, Germany indicated that Athens might leave the eurozone, in a comment attributed to Berlin government sources. However, since then Chancellor Merkel’s coalition has always insisted that it wants Greece to stay in the eurozone.
Yesterday a government spokesman attempted to backtrack, insisting: “We want to be a good friend and partner to Greece.”
A new poll conducted for ZDF public television showed for the first time that 52 per cent of the German population wanted Greece to leave the eurozone.