By Simon Miller
Greece has acted angrily at suggestions from Germany that an EU commissioner should take control of its budget.
Germany called an EU “budget commissioner” that would have the power to veto Greek tax and spending decisions according to documents leaked over the weekend.
Although there is measure optimism over whether Greece can reach a deal with its private debt holders, there are growing fears that the second tranche of bailout money will not be enough to stem the country’s sovereign debt crisis.
Officials claim that negotiations between Athens and bondholders had largely been completed with a haircut of 70% but there is disagreement as to whether the remaining budget shortfall will be filled by further Greek austerity measures or loans from either EU governments or the European Central Bank.
Greek prime minister Lucas Papdemos warned that if talks weren’t successfully completed the Greece faced “the spectre of bankruptcy with all the dire consequences for society that entails”.
Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos acted angrily to the German proposals to take budgetary control and warned that European partners were ignoring history.
Speaking to reporters, Venizelos commented: “Our partners acknowledge that European integration is based on the institutional equality of nation-states and on respect for their national identity and dignity. Whoever poses a dilemma between economic aid and national dignity is ignoring basic historical lessons.”