February 6, 2017 / 11:52 AM / 8 months ago

Greek bailout programme would end if IMF pulled out - German FinMin

Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble arrives at a eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany believes the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will remain on board with Greece’s bailout, a finance ministry spokesman reiterated on Monday, but said that a IMF decision to pull out would mean the end of the current programme.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has already made clear that if the IMF were not to participate, “then the programme is over”, spokesman Juerg Weissgerber said during a news conference when asked about an expected decision by the IMF board on Greece.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, wants the IMF to have a stake in Greece’s bailout to give the rescue plan greater credibility, but opposes granting Athens the significant debt relief that the IMF is demanding.

Berlin has opposed large-scale debt relief unless Greece completes wide-ranging reforms and keeps running budget surpluses of 3.5 percent in the medium-term following the end of the bailout programme in 2018.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Victoria Bryan

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