Schaeuble Pressed for Greek Debt Relief by German Election Rival

It has said that Greece's debt is unsustainable and will be "explosive" in the long run, requiring a new plan from Europe, including extending grace periods and maturities on the loans far beyond what the eurozone has committed to to data. But Germany's Wolfgang Schaeuble is sticking to his insistence that further-reaching debt relief is a matter for the future.

A group of north European countries led by Germany wants the International Monetary Fund to join for credibility reasons, believing the European Commission's approach towards Athens can be too lenient.

Greece's finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, said: "Greece has done its bit, most would say more than its bit".

May 22 A decision on debt relief for Greece will only be taken at the end of the bailout in mid-2018, but euro zone finance ministers may agree already on Monday to release new loans to Athens, the chairman of the ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said.

But the main objective of the talks - to get the International Monetary Fund to join the bailout - may be tough to achieve because the International Monetary Fund wants the euro zone to commit now, more firmly and in greater detail to debt relief for Athens, even if it were to happen only in 2018.

Moscovici said he'll be presenting a "positive" update to finance ministers about Greece's recent efforts to meet the terms of its global bailout.

The Greek parliament passed a raft of austerity measures including cuts to pensions and tax hikes last week in order to release the next round of financial aid.


Le Maire says it's "important there be a solution that reassures the Greek people and of course reassures Greece's creditors".

Schaeuble insisted that "structural reforms are the decisive thing" to improve Greek growth. He, like Dijsselbloem, said that "extra measures if required" would come after the bailout program expires next year.

Greece needs new cash from the euro zone to avoid a default in July when it has to repay some 7.3 billion euros worth of maturing loans.

Under the terms of the agreement, Greece has got to keep a 3.5 percent of GDP budget surplus before debt servicing costs over several years starting in 2018, according to Reuters.

Schaeuble, at a separate news conference in Berlin with his new French counterpart, Bruno Le Maire, said euro-area finance ministers were discussing divergent scenarios for Greek debt relief.

Macron explained his thinking about Greece in an interview to the Mediapart website two days before his election.

Successive Greek governments have slashed spending in return for bailout money to avoid bankruptcy.

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