BERLIN Feb 9 Greece should leave the euro zone
and then be given debt relief, the head of Germany's
pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) told a German radio station on
Greece should, however, remain in the European Union, FDP
leader Christian Lindner told Deutschlandfunk, so it can get
subsidies to put into infrastructure or help small- and
"It's clear that Greece needs to have its debts written
off," Lindner said. "Greece's debts can only be written off
outside of the euro zone, so we're talking about Grexit."
Recent polls put support for the FDP, which was the junior
coalition partner to Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives
from 2009 to 2013, at 5 to 7 percent. That suggests it will get
enough support to cross the 5 percent threshold to enter the
Bundestag lower house of parliament in elections on Sept. 24.
Lindner said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras did not
intend to implement agreed reforms, so the strategy needed to be
The German government wants the International Monetary Fund
to have a stake in Greece's bailout to give the rescue plan
greater credibility. But it opposes granting Athens the
significant debt relief that the IMF is demanding.
On Friday, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Greece
must meet commitments it has made under its international
bailout plans or else it will end up in an impossible position
(Reporting by Michelle Martin, editing by Larry King)