Germany’s Schaeuble says no rift with Merkel on Greece

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Tuesday denied reports that there was a rift between Chancellor Angela Merkel and himself on Greek debt negotiations.

“You shouldn’t waste much time on these rumours,” Schaeuble said during a panel at an economic conference organised by Merkel’s conservative CDU party in Berlin.

Bild, the tabloid newspaper, was the first to cause a stir by highlighting finance minister Wolfgang Schauble’s absence from last week’s the emergency Greece summit hosted by Merkel.

Although suggestions of a split between Merkel and Schauble have been played down, the difference between the finance minister’s tough rhetoric and the chancellor’s more conciliatory tone has grown in recent days.

Other German media reported that Schaeuble had been upset by a surprise meeting in Berlin last week between Merkel and Greece’s international creditor institutions and that he was worried about a softening of Germany’s tough stance towards Greece.

Bloomberg reported that a split between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is widening over Greece as the funding standoff goes down to the wire, said to Bloomberg ‘people familiar with the matter.’

It is thought that Merkel is ready to make concessions to keep Greece in the euro because of geopolitical concerns, while Schaeuble is willing to let the country exit the euro unless its government takes measures to ensure the country’s long-term survival in the monetary union, said the unnamed sources, speaking about internal party discussions.