German finance ministry replies to Lew comment: There has already been great flexibility in Greece’s case

(ANA-MPA) Responding to a statement by U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew earlier on Wednesday in London, German finance ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger noted that “the greatest flexibility” has already been shown regarding Greece’s programme.

Jack Lew warned Europe not to “miscalculate” the efforts to negotiate an agreement. He also added that it would be a “mistake” to think that the failure would have no consequence outside of Greece, calling on foreign negotiations to be flexible. In response, Jaeger said that great flexibility had already been shown, both in the extension of Greece’s programme and in giving the option to not implement all the agreed reforms but present its own proposals.

Jaeger noted that the information reaching Berlin concerning the progress in the ongoing negotiations was not compatible with that emerging from Athens. He also stressed that the issue of Greece might well be discussed at the G7 meeting in Dresden but was not on the official agenda and no decisions will be made, since the negotiations are taking place in the Eurogroup.

While there had been some progress in the negotiations in recent weeks, especially in the atmosphere of the talks, a comprehensive solution that was necessary in order to successfully complete the programme had yet to be reached, the spokesman added in response to questions about the messages emerging from Athens.

“With all my heart, I would welcome it, if it were so – if we were very close to a solution,” he said, noting that Berlin “has a sincere and serious interest in successfully concluding the negotiations.”

Regarding a statement by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on the possibility that capital controls will be imposed in Greece, the spokesman said that Schaeuble had referred exclusively to the powers of national governments and urged reporters to closely read the minister’s interview in “Die Zeit” on Thursday.