ECONOMY

German finance minister urges Greece to work hard

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Saturday — after the approval of the release of a tranche of loans to Greece — that efforts to meet demands for the next tranche in the autumn must continue unabated.

Schaeuble said, after a conference call among the 17 euro zone finance ministers, the release was made possible by the Greek parliament passing austerity and reform laws on Wednesday and Thursday, removing the threat of a near-term debt default.

“After the release of the fifth tranche by the eurozone countries and the IMF, the next step must be tackled decisively: the measures passed in Athens have to be quickly implemented. The privatisations, for example, have to be started without delay,» Schaeuble said.

“The work on a necessary new program for Greece are continuing at a high pace. That means the inclusion of the private sector, which will be making a voluntary substantial contribution to the next programme for Greece.»

Schaeuble added: «The passage of the new programme can then be completed before the release of the next tranche in the autumn — provided, as always, that the implementation of the programme in Greece takes place as planned.»

Earlier on Saturday, euro zone finance ministers agreed to disburse a further 12 billion euros to Greece and said the details of a second aid package for Athens would be worked out in the «coming weeks».

[Reuters]