Lower Saxony offers to help

The northern German state of Lower Saxony offered Greece help to restructure its public administration Monday, aiming to combat inefficiencies dragging on efforts to pare back its mountain of debt.

State Economy Minister Joerg Bode told Reuters his state is in contact with Berlin over the idea and ?stands ready? to provide consulting, a move which would require approval from a European Union task force aiding Athens in tax collection.

?Those who want to get back on their feet must also be ready to say: Let?s do it together,? Bode said.

Greek officials themselves admit inefficiencies in the country?s public sector, but have yet to spell out how they will carry out the reforms in public administration sought by international lenders.

As German states are particularly experienced in tapping regional aid funds from the European Union, it is hoped the consulting could help Athens receive some 15 billion euros of EU development funds available in the next three years. [Reuters]