Welteke: The current government is not responsible for Greece’s problems

“The current government is not responsible for the problems that Greece is facing. I am optimistic about Greece, I believe it will come out of the crisis and I would be happy if the Europeans follow the International Monetary Fund (IMF) line and decide to give further debt relief,” former Bundesbank President Ernst Welteke said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency published on Friday.

Welteke is in Athens to participate in a conference organised by the Hellenic-German Chamber on “The Restart of the Greek Economy: Investments-Innovation-Development.”

“One cannot demand only public spending cuts and strict austerity measures from Greece. No country came out of the crisis this way. It needs to be understood, especially in Germany, that aid packages are not aid, but money that is not channeled into the [Greek] economy as it is used for the repayment of loans. Greece is paying past loans with new ones,” he said.

Bundesbank’s former chief expressed doubts about whether “privatisations are always for the benefit of a country” and added that “one has to examine each case differently, because the target of investors is not the benefit of the citizens but their own profit.”