BERLIN May 22 German Foreign Minister Sigmar
Gabriel on Monday urged euro zone finance ministers and the
International Monetary Fund to give Greece enough fiscal room to
make growth-oriented investments in education, infrastructure
and research and development.
Speaking alongside visiting French Foreign Minister
Jean-Yves Le Drian, Gabriel said the Eurogroup must grant Greece
debt relief in exchange for reforms demanded by its
"In 2016 the Eurogroup promised the prospect of debt relief
to Greece for 2018. The Greeks have achieved incredible things
since then," Gabriel said. "The Greeks were always told if you
do this then it will become necessary to give you debt relief.
And I think it is now time to make this concrete."
Gabriel, a Social Democrat, has criticized conservative
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's handling of the Greek debt
crisis, namely his insistence that giving Greece debt relief
could encourage it to forfeit necessary reforms.
He added: "They have implemented their measures. Now it's
time for the IMF and the Eurogroup to agree with the (European)
Commission...that the debt servicing must not be so big that
nothing remains for growth, creating jobs, for research, for
development, for education, for infrastructure."
(Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Hans-Edzard Busemann; Writing
by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Paul Carrel)