Bild newspaper has reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel did not push for the idea that there should a referendum on Greece regarding its membership in the currency union saying that she only sought to know what the Greek president thought of it.
Although Berlin denies it, a Greek government spokesman confirmed that Chancellor Merkel brought up the topic in a phone call on Friday.
The occurrence reignited anti-Merkel attitude in debt-loaded Greece with many people accusing her of exacerbating the predicament by taking to long to act and requesting for very high austerity measures.
The chancellor’s spokeswoman denied the reports that Merkel had proposed a referendum in Greece. She however did not provide details of whatever had been conversed. Paul Ronzheimer, a reporter at the Bild Newspaper, reported that Angela Merkel had asked the Greece president what he thought of a referendum on the currency union in a phone call.
The article’s headline read “Bild at a negotiating table in Greece”. Many are forced to believe that the reporter was there during the chat. However, the journalist confirmed that he wasn’t present but he got the details from other reliable sources.
The reporter wrote that Merkel sought to discuss with the Greece president about the likelihood of a referendum on the currency union. He also noted that the idea had come from the EU finance ministers meeting in the last couple of days.
The Bild reporter also said that Merkel sought to know Papoulias’s stand on the idea but he rejected it.
German government officials have also noted that the Chancellor hoped for a stable government in Greece after repeat voting in June. Germany has been playing a major role in an effort to rescue Greece.
Dimitris Tsiodras, Greek government orator, noted that after the phone call Merkel had specifically brought up the issue of a possible referendum on the membership of Greece in the currency union.
He also said that the German Chancellor had mentioned to the president about the idea of a referendum in line with the debate on whether Greece wishes to stay in the currency union.
These reports have sparked Greek criticism of the Chancellor who recently was cartooned in some Greek papers putting on a Nazi Uniform. The recent controversy appeared across the front page of nearly every Greek newspaper.
However, Panagiotis Pikrammenos, Greece interim Premier told reporters that the controversy is now over.