BRUSSELS May 22 German Finance Minister
Wolfgang Schaeuble said he hoped for a political agreement on
Monday that would allow euro zone governments to pay out the
next tranche of loans to Greece.
"I hope that we find a solution today which concludes things
politically," Schaeuble told reporters on entering a meeting of
euro zone finance ministers devoted mainly to Greece.
He said the finalisation of an agreement on Greece would
have to wait for a report on whether the country has implemented
all the agreed reforms, the so-called compliance report, which
euro zone officials said was positive.
"In general we are so far that we have, in line with what we
agreed in May of last year, a political conclusion to create the
conditions to pay the second tranche on time," Schaeuble said.
He noted that talks with the International Monetary Fund,
which Germany wants to bring into the Greek bailout, but which
demands debt relief for Greece, would be difficult.
"The IMF has a debt sustainability analysis that cannot be
brought in line with the European institutions," Schaeuble said.
"That is why we have to see how we can find a solution with
the IMF, so that the IMF can be part of the programme without
breaching its rules. That will be one of the difficult issues,
we have had many preparatory talks, but I'm confident we can
find a solution," he said.
Schaeuble made clear, however, that Germany, which faces
elections in September, could not meet the IMF's demand to
promise Greece debt relief already now.
"The medium term measures, if they are necessary, will be
decided on after the end of the programme. We have specified
what this could be, an extension of the maturities, specific
measures with regards to the interest. We could specify that in
one or the other way but it cannot not be decided upon before
the end of the programme without a new mandate," he said.
(Reporting By Robert-Jan Bartunek; writing by Jan Strupczewski)