A German politician said Monday that Greece might be better off outside the euro zone.
Peter Ramsauer isn’t currently in German parliament, but he was once the chairman of the economic affairs committee in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.
He wrote in the German daily Bild that leaving the euro zone “would provide Greece with a great opportunity to renew itself economically and administratively, making itself fit again to return to the euro zone from a position of strength,” according to Reuters.
While the Germans have butted heads with the Greeks over Eurogroup negotiations, no major German politicians had said they favoured a Grexit. The Bundestag voted to approve the Eurogroup deal with Greece back in February, although there were 32 “no” votes and 13 abstentions (of 542 votes).
Ramsauer also suggested that current German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble thinks the same.
Peter Ramsauer, a former transport minister under Merkel and chairman of the economic affairs committee in the German parliament, wrote in top-selling German daily Bild on Monday that more muddling through with Greece made little sense.
Although no longer a member of the government, Ramsauer is arguably the most prominent politician in Merkel’s camp to come out in favour of Greece leaving the euro zone.
“By leaving the euro zone, as Finance Minister (Wolfgang) Schaeuble has suggested, the country could make itself competitive again from a currency perspective with a new drachma,” Ramsauer, a member of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), wrote in Bild.
“This would provide Greece with a great opportunity to renew itself economically and administratively, making itself fit again to return to the euro zone from a position of strength.”
There seems to be Greek fatigue among European leaders. After discussions today, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that “we have to stop wasting time and really start talks seriously,” although he reiterated that the euro zone finance ministers will stand behind Greece if it continues with its reforms as planned.