European socialists accuse EPP’s Weber of ‘pushing for regime change’ in Greece

In a particularly harsh announcement on Wednesday, the European Parliament’s Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) flat out accused the leadership of the European People’s Party (EPP) – their conservative rivals in the EuroParliament – of “trying to engineer a government crisis” that will topple Greece’s left-wing government.

S&D Group vice-president responsible for economic and monetary affairs, Udo Bullmann, responding to a press report about a recent visit to Athens by EPP leader Manfred Weber, accused him of working with Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to help Greece’s conservative main opposition party New Democracy, a fellow EPP member, regain power.

Bullmann said a report in Politico’s German language newsletter ‘Guten Morgen Europa’ revealed that Weber had “fantasised about the ousting of the current left-wing Government of Greece”.

“According to this source, Weber stated that the debt relief measures agreed in principle by the Eurogroup last week could only be implemented if the current government led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras were to be replaced.

“If correctly quoted, Weber’s remarks give away what his and German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble’s plan has obviously been all along: to work towards regime change in Greece,” Bullman said.

Instead of applying the principles of sound economic and fiscal policies to the management of the Greek situation, he added, Weber and Schäuble seem much more interested in helping their EPP affiliated buddies of the New Democracy party to “engineer a government crisis to make the current coalition fall.”

“Weber’s explanation that the Syriza-led government of Alexis Tsipras is not trustworthy enough for the Eurogroup to stand by its commitments is ridiculous. The current Greek finance minister Tsakalotos has proven by far the most effective, competent and transparent partner for the Eurogroup. However, Weber and Schäuble seem to prefer ineffective conservative governments at the helm of Eurozone countries at any price. Their continuous support for Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish Prime Minister who, during the Spanish crisis, never managed to deliver on his fiscal targets, certainly speaks the same language.

“If the Politico reporting is correct, Weber’s position on Greece must be characterised as outrageous and scandalous. The Eurozone must work together in a constructive spirit to achieve a sustainable economic recovery. In this current situation, nobody can afford political intrigues and ideological dogmas,” Bullman said.