BERLIN, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Greece should not have been allowed to join the eurozone common currency union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said, blaming the former Social Democratic (SPD) administration for letting it happen.
Merkel said at an election campaign rally in the town of Rendsburg on Tuesday that the SPD government under former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder had contributed to creating the causes of the crisis that has been brewing over many years by consenting to Greece's entry in 2001.
"Chancellor Schroeder accepted Greece in and weakened the Stability Pact and both decisions were fundamentally wrong, and one of the starting points for our current troubles," Merkel told supporters at the rally.
Merkel's remarks seemed to be countering attacks by SPD chancellery challenger Peer Steinbrueck on her eurozone crisis policy.
The SPD candidate criticized the Merkel government for misleading voters on the costs from another Greek bailout. He also urged her to be honest on how long Germany would have to save the debt-ridden country.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said earlier this month that Greece was not out of the woods, and needed another aid program, but ruled out the possibility of a second debt restructuring for Greece, saying the first haircut was not a good experience.
Since 2010, Greece has been kept afloat with a total 240 billion euro (320 billion U.S. dollars) financing under two bailout programs in return for a tough austerity and reform plan which has been hit by delays.
With less than one month to go until the Sept. 22 German parliamentary election, polls have indicated that Merkel's ruling coalition enjoys enough support to win a parliamentary majority.
The opinion poll by market research company Forsa showed on Wednesday that support for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian CSU sister party stood unchanged at 41 percent, while the SPD party held at 22 percent.