German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on German television that he was "quite optimistic" lenders would find a solution on Greece in the next few weeks but he added that this would not include debt relief for the troubled country.
"We will find a solution in the coming weeks but it will not have anything to do with debt relief but rather with Greece having to do more on the way to becoming a competitive economy," he said in an interview on German public broadcaster ARD.
Schaeuble said given that the maturities on Greek debt were already up to 35 years and interest repayments had been deferred for 10 years, people who were talking about debt relief simply "don't want to talk about what Greece needs to do" and Athens needed to meet the conditions that had been set.
"We're helping Greece – we're buying it time," he said, adding that the lenders always fulfilled their agreements but it was difficult to get Athens to do the same. [Reuters]