Germany unwilling to help Greece out unconditionally: FM

26th April 2010, Comments 0 comments

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Monday that Berlin opposes handing over financial aid to Greece without Athens first presenting a credible programme of debt reduction.

"Making promises of concrete aid too soon will only have the effect of taking the pressure off Greece," Westerwelle said on his arrival for talks with his fellow EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

"Above all, we need to see budget consolidation taking place in Greece," otherwise Athens will not be obliged to act "with the necessary application and discipline," he warned.

On Friday, the Greek government formally asked for a 45-billion-euro (60-billion-dollar) EU-IMF loan plan to be activated to help the country out of its increasing debt and deficit crises.

Greece's cost of borrowing rose above nine percent for the first time on Monday whereas the EU money will be available for around five percent.

However, Germany, Europe's largest economy and expected to contribute around 8.4 billion euros, first wants to see Athens adopt a strict fiscal stance for the coming years, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble said on Sunday.

© 2010 AFP

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