Angela Merkel's coalition partners are lining up to demand a Greek exit from the euro, mounting pressure on the German chancellor and fanning market fears that Greece could shortly leave the single currency bloc.
Patrick Döring, general-secretary of Angela Merkel's junior coalition partners the Free Democrats (FDP), told the regional Passauer Neue Presse newspaper that Greece could recover and regain competitiveness more quickly outside the eurozone.
"If Greece was no longer a part of the eurozone it could create trust on markets", he said in remarks published Tuesday (24 July).
He is the latest of a number of top-ranking members of the two smaller parties in Merkel's coalition to call for an exit for the benefit of Greece and to prevent contagion, mindful of the rising cost to Germany of bailing out weaker eurozone states.
Rating agency Moody's acknowledged that burden on Monday, dropping its outlook on German debt from stable to negative.
FDP leader Philipp Rösler, who is also Germany's vice chancellor and economy minister, told television over the weekend a Greek exit was no longer a taboo for experts, or his party. "It has lost its fear factor," he said.
He told broadcaster ARD that he was more than skeptical on whether Greece could meet the terms of its aid package. Faced with insolvency Greeks would decide themselves to leave the single currency, he said. Merkel has herself said that asking Greece to exit the eurozone would be “catastrophic” and a “huge political mistake”, calling on leaders to support the country as it implements austerity measures.