RIGA (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble hinted on Saturday that Berlin was preparing for a possible Greek default, drawing a parallel with the secrecy of German reunification plans in 1989.
At a briefing with reporters after a tense meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Greece on Friday, Schaeuble was asked if euro zone finance ministers were working on a "Plan B" in case negotiations on funding with cash-strapped Athens fail.
"You shouldn't ask responsible politicians about alternatives," Schaeuble answered, adding one only need to use one's imagination to envisage what could happen.
He indicated that if he were to answer in the affirmative that ministers were working on a Plan B -- what to do when Greece runs out of money and cannot pay back its debt -- he could trigger panic.
To explain his position, he drew a parallel with the secrecy that was necessary during the initial stage of planning for German reunification in 1989.
"If back then a minister in charge -- I was one of them -- would have said beforehand, we have a plan for reunification, then the whole world probably would have said: 'The Germans have gone completely crazy.'"