Germany, the economic leader of the euro currency bloc, says that Greece should not expect quick action on new bailout funds even though it has approved another unpopular austerity plan.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Thursday he does not expect eurozone finance chiefs meeting next Monday to immediately release another $40 billion rescue package to the Athens government, as Greek leaders had hoped after agreeing to $17 billion in spending cuts. Greece says its needs the money avoid a financial collapse.
“Right now we have Greece on board. We could witness last night how it went. With Greece we are not out of the woods yet. I don't see how we can make decisions with Greece and about Greece next week. It is too early to think that we made it. We are not out of the woods yet.”
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Greece's adoption of the austerity measures “represents progress.” Greece is in its fifth year of a recession and the government said that its jobless rate hit 25.4 percent in August, a new high.
One unemployed Greek worker, George Galakos, said he feels a sense of hopelessness in looking for a job.
“I feel a great deal of insecurity like everyone else. I try to do what I can to find a job, asking friends and acquaintances, but I haven't managed to succeed yet. The supply is huge and the demand is tiny.''
The eurozone economy is contracting, but the central bank Thursday left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of three-quarters of one percent.