UPDATE: Ironic timing...*VENIZELOS SAYS GREECE FACES CHOICE OF STAYING IN EURO OR NOT, *GREEK DEBT SUSTAINABILITY NO WAY NEAR 120%, DE JAGER SAYS, and *ECB SHOULD CONTRIBUTE TO REDUCTION OF GREEK DEBT, JUNCKER SAYS
In an incredibly candid 'informal' discussion caught on video by Portugal's TVi24 television crew, German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble gives Portuguese finance minister Vitor Gaspar 'the nod' that after the Greek deal is done, Germany will relax the conditions of the financial assistance program for Portugal. While the soundtrack is a little flaky, it is clear that the German finmin notes they must remain resolute in their conditions against Greece in order to maintain the appearance of 'seriousness' with the fellow members of the Greek parliament and more importantly the people of Germany. It would appear that once they have flexed their muscles against the Greeks (think Lehman?) then (and only then) can (and will) they 'help' the Portuguese. Perhaps the hard default is the way they expect this to play out with the assumption they can post-hoc avoid contagion in some manner but nevertheless, Samaras' comments this afternoon on growth and a focus away from austerity do not sit in any way complementary to Schaeuble's comments in this candid-camera moment.
Portuguese TV is having a field day with the clip as they note: Vítor Gaspar was "looking like a student trying to impress the teacher," was how the commentator saw the episode. Adding, the minister "did everything but say that not only is doing everything right as even very fond of the austerity policy."
The full transcript is here (via Google Translate):
Talk quietly and when the two thought not being heard, was held on Thursday in Brussels during the meeting of European finance ministers and was captured by a camera TVI. Schäuble told Gaspar that Germany was willing to relax the Portuguese aid program, but after you solve the problem of Greece. "Thank you very much," said the Portuguese Minister of Finance. Vítor Gaspar said after the German minister: "We made ??substantial progress in the European context." "Yes, they did," says Schäuble. Pedro Passos Coelho said recently that Portugal does not need more time or more money to fulfill according to the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. "Portugal will not ask for a renegotiation of the program is running. (...) He said it clearly in Parliament and I will reaffirm it: Do not ask more time or more money to implement the program, "said on January 24, during a press conference.
Transcript of the conversation in its entirety Wolfgang Schäuble: If at the end we need to make an adjustment to the program [Portuguese], having taken large deciosões about Greece ... This is essential. But then, if necessary an adjustment of the Portuguese program, will be prepared. Vítor Gaspar: Thank you very much. Wolfgang Schäuble: No problem. Since ... It is that members of the German parliament and public opinion in Germany does not believe that our decisions are serious, why not believe in our decisions about Greece. Vítor Gaspar: We made ??very substantial progress in the European context. Wolfgang Schäuble: Yes, you did progress. Vítor Gaspar: Yes, we did. And now we have to work ...
Video is not embeddable so click picture for the link...