NICHOLAS PAPHITIS and FRANK JORDANS, AP
The comments came as Greece’s new radical left government, voted in last Sunday, sought to make good on its pre-election promises of seeking to write off half of Greece’s debt and reverse the austerity measures that are a condition of its international bailout.
“The discussion about a debt cut or a debt conference is divorced from reality,” Martin Jaeger, a German finance ministry spokesman, said in Berlin.
Jaeger said Greece was obliged to abide by the terms of its 240 billion euro (US$270 billion) bailout program agreed by previous governments or endanger the deal.
Without the rescue loans from its fellow eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund, Greece would go bankrupt.
“If the measures announced by the new government in Athens were implemented, then one has to ask whether the basis of the program wouldn’t be called into question and therefore pointless,” he said.
In Athens, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutchman who chairs eurozone finance meetings, met with top officials to sound out the new government.
Dijsselbloem said that while Greeks have gone through “a lot” in recent years to reform their economy, progress had already been made.
“Taking unilateral steps or ignoring previous agreements is not the way forward,” he told reporters in statements after his meeting with Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.