June 6, 2015 / 2:40 PM / 5 years ago

German No 2 tells Greece that Europe has hit its limits

BERLIN, June 6 (Reuters) - German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel warned Greece in a newspaper interview on Saturday there was no more wiggle room in negotiations on a cash-for-reforms deal.

Asked if he was expecting an agreement soon, Gabriel told German daily Stuttgarter Nachrichten: “That depends solely on the Greek government. Europe has gone up to its limits.”

Gabriel said that there was a mood in Germany now for letting the Greeks just leave the euro zone.

“But this would get very expensive for certain,” he said, adding that Greece would remain a member state in the European Union no matter what happened. “So there would still be the need for aid.”

Gabriel, who is economy minister and also head of Germany’s Social Democrats, criticised Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

“His problem his that he’s not willing to tackle the issues that need to be solved. He’d rather put them onto the shoulders of the European taxpayers. But this won’t work.”

Gerda Hasselfeldt, a senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative allies in Bavaria, told the German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse that Athens now had to come up with detailed reform proposals.

“The current programme must be implemented and it cannot be changed into something else on the quiet,” Hasselfeldt said. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber,)

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