German economy minister welcomes signal from Greece on debt talks

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Wednesday welcomed a signal from Greece that it was ready to negotiate after it said it would submit a request to the euro zone to extend a loan agreement for up to six months.

“It is good that the government in Greece obviously decided yesterday evening to take Greek interests into account and not just those of its own party. They have announced to the European Union talks about a new program. That is the only way to make progress,” said Gabriel in a speech.

However, a spokesman for Germany’s finance ministry said any extension of a loan agreement with Greece could not be separated from its reform commitments, reiterating comments made by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. [Reuters]