Berlin, (IANS) German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday accused Greece of a lack of willingness to compromise, calling on the government in Athens to take “self-responsibility” in dealing with its debt issue.
Merkel made the remarks at a press conference after meeting her cabinet members and German party leaders to discuss recent developments of the Greek debt crisis, Xinhua reported.
“Europe can only work when we’re prepared to compromise. The generous offer (to Greece) was our contribution to the compromise,” she told journalists about the failed talks over a proposed bailout for Greece.
The Greek side, however, lacked a spirit of compromise “which is demonstrated by the break-off of negotiations and the decision to hold a referendum,” said the chancellor.
Europe can only act in crisis situations “when self-responsibility and solidarity of others are two sides of the coin,” she stressed, adding that the principles of self-responsibility and solidarity go hand-in-hand.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras over the weekend announced that his country would hold a referendum on July 5 on the latest debt deal proposed by international lenders.
Merkel said the Greek government had the right to carry out a referendum, but “other euro zone countries also have the right to develop a stand,” referring to the fact the extended second bailout for Greece expires on Tuesday.
The chancellor noted there should be no pressure on the Greek people “who want to make up their own mind in the vote,” but that “as friends we have to clearly say what consequences there will be”.
“I still consider Greece as a friend,” she told the press, saying Germany and other countries and institutions are ready for further negotiations if Greece asks for them after Sunday’s referendum, and also willing to provide help for the country if needed.