Juncker Speaks

The Greek Black Hole

Jean-Claude Juncker needs Greece to get serious about reform.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The E.U. Commission, under the leadership of President Jean-Claude Juncker, is a key voice in the ongoing negotiations over what deal Greece should get on its bailout by European countries.

  • Facts


    • Greece’s bailout was set to expire at the end of February, but the country has now been granted a four-month extension to give negotiators time to reach a permanent solution.
    • Germany’s parliament overwhelmingly approved the extension of Greece’s bailout in a test vote Thursday, although Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble remains critical of Greece’s behavior.
    • An poll by research firm INSA has found that only 21 percent of Germans support an extension for Greece.
  • Audio


  • Pdf

The immediate Greek crisis may be over as four-month extension of the country’s bailout from European creditors looked set to be approved by governments in the 19-nation euro currency zone by the end of this week. But the war of words between Greece and Germany has not stopped.

The crisis could well erupt again at the end of June, by which time Athens and its European leaders will have to agree a permanent solution to the Greek dilemma.

The European Commission’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker, in an interview with WirtschaftsWoche, suggests Greece has not yet accepted its role in the European debt crisis, and its role in fixing it.

WirtschaftsWoche: Mr. Juncker, the Greek government has been snubbing its European partners for weeks now. Are Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his finance minister Yanis Varoufakis inexperienced or brazen?

Jean-Claude Juncker: I have not yet seen a lot of top grade expertise. But we shouldn’t jump to conclusions – after all, nobody ever became an expert over night, not even from Greece.

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