Germany, France want details on Greek debt plan: Berlin

13th August 2015, Comments 0 comments

Germany on Thursday said Berlin and Paris were seeking further information on Greece's plans to privatise parts of its economy before approving a third bailout package.

A deputy to Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, Jens Spahn, told Deutschlandfunk public radio that the 400-page draft agreement between Greece and its creditors appeared to largely implement a watershed accord with European leaders from July.

But he said Germany and France were still seeking clarification on key points and hoped to get answers at a meeting this week of eurozone finance ministers.

"Germany is not the only country that still has questions at the moment. We still need to talk with each other on a few issues. That is why we have a Eurogroup meeting on Friday in Brussels," he said.

"We need more details in some areas. That is what we need to talk about -- by the way we have a joint proposal from France and Germany," he added without providing further details.

Spahn, seen as a rising star in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party, said it was clear that the Greek government had "come a long way" and been "very constructive" during the negotiations, with a "high degree of willingness to reform".

"There is a clear recognition that Greece needs to change if it wants to stay in the eurozone," he said.

"You have to acknowledge that. A lot has been achieved."

Germany's Bild newspaper had cited a two-page, English-language German finance ministry paper Wednesday that pointed to shortcomings in the draft agreement.

German finance officials were said to have raised "open questions," especially on Greece's debt sustainability, the role of the International Monetary Fund and on privatisations.

A finance ministry spokesman said Wednesday that Berlin would need until the end of the week to review and evaluate the agreement.

Greece and its creditors -- the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund -- are under pressure to finalise the deal by August 20, when Athens must repay some 3.4 billion euros to the ECB.


© 2015 AFP

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