Ghana has in the last two weeks been begging Germany to not only grant the country debt relief, but intercede on its behalf to get China to do same.
Ghana owes China $1.7 billion.
On Friday, in a rare move, the German Ambassador to Ghana, Daniel Krull, went public with his concerns about the huge size of Ghana’s government.
Speaking at a press conference, Mr Krull questioned why Ghana continues to have a size of government that is far bigger than Germany’s.
“I only can compare and with other countries like my own and I can just come to the conclusion that the number is much higher than in my country.
“So that might bring me to the conclusion that maybe there’s room for improvement,” he said.
He added that “Ghana has a very dense layer of institutions and responsibilities all over the country.”
According to him, Ghana cannot go out to the international community crying for help and still refuse to cut its expenditure.
“Well, of course, it depends very much on what kind of expenditures you’re looking at … I’m convinced this is true for if I look at the budget of the German Foreign Ministry of the German government, I’m convinced there are important tasks that can be cut without hurting the economic development.
“And I’m convinced without going into details this also is true for Ghana. There are certain expenditures that can be lowered substantially and make an important impact and it has to be part of the package.
“I mean, I cannot go out to the international community and say I need help, but I’m not willing to cut my own budget expenditures. I have to be careful not to cut the social expenditures that are destroying lives and families. I have to be very careful not to take measures that might negatively impact economic growth.
“But I’m convinced there are many expenditures that could be looked at very carefully and can be lowered substantially,” he said.
In a related development, German Ambassador to Ghana says Ghana’s talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout is in danger.
This, Daniel Krull attributes to China’s unwillingness to engage in possible debt relief.
“The biggest elephant in the room is China. China is the largest creditor to Ghana and so far, it’s not fully supporting the setting up of the creditor’s committee where all the creditors will sit down and agree on a package for Ghana,” he said in a yet-to-be-aired interview on Foreign Affairs on the Joy News Channel.
“Time is of the essence, time is running out. Without this agreement with the bilateral creditors, the IMF package is in severe danger,” he added.