BERLIN – With the exception of Greece, all countries in the euro zone hit by the debt crisis have made good headway on economic reforms, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Thursday.
"All of the countries which are in a program, except Greece, which is in a particularly difficult situation... have made remarkable progress," Schaeuble told a conference.
"Even though they are not in a program, what Spain and Italy have achieved is grand," he added.
Schaeuble also said countries that make necessary efforts on reforms can be given "more time" to repair their public finances. Greece has asked its international donors for more time to implement painful reforms but Germany and other euro zone creditor nations have responded coolly to the request.
The euro zone is awaiting a report from the 'troika' - comprising the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - on the state of Greece's economy before making further decisions on the country.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin and Gernot Heller, writing by Gareth Jones)