Speaking to German weekly Die Zeit in an interview, “European values and German arrogance,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle described the cliché that ”Greeks are lazy,” which made the international rounds, a “silly stereotype.”
Despite the fact that the Minister denounced the harsh derogatory remarks against Greeks, the German government spokesman stated that Greece has to implement the agreed measures for the aid package. A positive comment from Germany doesn’t necessary imply that the country’s policy on the Greek matter will change out of the blue.
When asked about the increasing rage in regards to German austerity in Spain, “Greece and Italy pose a reason for concern,” the German Foreign Minister notes, saying, “I am travelling across Europe lately to answer that question… We focus on financial discipline, because you cannot fight a debt crisis if you put up with the debt. At the same time, we support growth by enhancing competitiveness. Does anyone still believe that we can have growth by further increasing the debt?”
“Has the way we (Germans) have led the debate on the crisis contributed to bitterness?,” asks the journalist.
“I wish I could disagree with you wholeheartedly,” admits the German FA Minister, “but unfortunately you’re right… These stereotypes, that Greeks lay under the olive tree with a bottle of Retsina, while the Germans work hard, cannot be beaten in silliness.”