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Merkel has no majority for reported Greek aid, FDP’s Fricke says

Chancellor Angela Merkel would fail to secure the backing of her coalition for as much as 20 billion euros in extra aid for Greece, said Otto Fricke, her junior coalition partner’s budget spokesman.

Fricke was speaking after Handelsblatt newspaper cited an agreement between the Greek government and its international creditors as saying that Greece will get a loan of 16-20 billion euros to supplement its second rescue package while gaining an extra two years to reach its deficit targets. Germany’s parliament would need to approve the loan.

Fricke, a Free Democratic Party lawmaker, told reporters in Berlin on Thursday that he sees “no majority for such a thing.”

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras caused investor confusion on Wednesday when he told lawmakers in Athens that Greece had won approval for its bid to secure a two-year extension to 2016 for its bailout program. The European Commission and European Central Bank denied that a deal had been struck, with ECB President Mario Draghi saying that the so-called troika’s review of Greece’s finances “is not finished yet.”

Euro-area states will probably agree on the fresh loan for Greece on Nov. 12, Handelsblatt reported. The interest on outstanding rescue loans may be cut, with the date for their redemption extended beyond 2020, it said.

German Deputy Finance Minister Steffen Kampeter said that the government must await the report on Greece’s progress in meeting internationally agree targets compiled by the troika of the EU Commission, the ECB and the International Monetary Fund.

“But it’s clear there will be deviations from what was agreed,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just as clear that the German Bundestag will have to deal with these deviations” from the agreed plan.

Germany’s best-selling newspaper, Bild, reported Stournaras’s comments on its front page on Thursday, saying that Greece is poised to get “more time and money.”

“Our politicians have told us fairytales again,” it said.

[Bloomberg]

ekathimerini.com , Thursday October 25, 2012 (16:12)  
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