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Germany’s interior minister called for Greece to leave the eurozone on Saturday as hopes that the world’s richest countries would stump up more cash to help the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fight Europe’s debt crisis faded.
Becoming the first member of Germany’s cabinet to openly call for a Greek exit, Hans-Peter Friedrich told Der Spiegel magazine that Greece’s chances of restoring its financial health would be greater outside the euro.
“I’m not saying that Greece should be thrown out but rather to create incentives that it can’t say ‘no’ to,” he added.
Eurozone leaders have been negotiating with the US, China and Japan to contribute more to the IMF to build a “financial firewall” that would shield the likes of the Spanish and Italian economies from any intensification of the region’s crisis this year.
Despite fears in Washington, Tokyo and Beijing that Europe still poses a real threat to the wider global economic recovery, they want to see Europe take further steps first. America’s opposition is fiercest, with the White House making clear it won’t contribute more to the IMF. “What we don’t want to see is the IMF substitute – and it really cannot substitute – for a stronger European response,” US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said.