February 19, 2012 / 12:27 AM / 7 years ago

No sense in splitting Greek aid package: German finance minister

BERLIN (Reuters) - It would make no sense to split the second bailout programme for Greece, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was quoted as saying by the weekly Tagesspiegel am Sonntag.

“If Greece gets all the necessary approvals and implements reforms and clears other matters, then it will be able to get the second aid package,” Schaeuble said. “A staggered agreement or an agreement step by step would not be constructive.”

“We will decide on a whole programme on Monday,” he added.

Sources told Reuters on Wednesday that euro zone finance officials had been examining ways of delaying part or all of a 130 billion euro bailout for Greece.

But European leaders expressed optimism on Friday that Greece would secure the whole of the new rescue package worth 130 billion euros after Athens set out the remaining cuts in a 3.3 billion euro austerity package.

Schaeuble also defended himself against the criticism of Greek President Karolos Papoulias, who angrily accused him of insulting Greece.

“I do not know any Mr Schaeuble who would do such a thing,” he said. “Perhaps the Greek President heard something wrong.”

He said that all finance ministers in the euro zone had been fighting for two years to stabilise the euro, “and in particular to stabilise Greece.”

Schaeuble said the euro zone was not setting new conditions for aid, but it was necessary for Greece to give “sufficient guarantees that it will stick to that which has been agreed independently of the outcome of the elections.”

Schaeuble has twice this week spoken of Greece as a “bottomless pit,” causing outrage in Greece and fuelling suspicion that north Europeans may be preparing to push Athens out of the euro zone - comforted by calculations that this would no longer destroy the euro.

Reporting By Sarah Marsh; editing by Tim Pearce

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