Germany sees IMF and EU staying involved in Greece

Reuters

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany expects the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to remain involved jointly in any continued aid program for debt-laden Greece, a finance ministry spokesman said on Wednesday. The comments contradict an earlier report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper which had said it appeared certain the IMF would not contribute its share of the next tranche of aid under Greece's international bailout package.

"It is a joint program which states, the IMF and the (EU) Commission have participated in," Martin Kotthaus said at a regular news briefing.

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"It was designed jointly. It will be evaluated jointly, and I also assume that it can only be continued jointly, including when it comes to the question of payouts of future tranches."

Inspectors on the "troika" team of inspectors from the EU, IMF and European Central Bank are in Athens to decide whether to release a tranche of 12 billion euros ($17 billion) next month to keep Greece afloat.

Partly due to IMF demands, discussions on a new package that would meet Greece's needs up to 2014 are also taking place, and countries are eager to see what measures Athens will be taking to regain credibility, for example with its privatisations.

"It must be made crystal clear how these privatisation announcements and plans can be executed concretely, tangibly, and comprehensibly so that all further delays and such can be avoided," Germany's Kotthaus said.

He added that private creditors should participate in any solution to Greece's debt woes, and not leave the entire burden for governments to shoulder.

"Should the taxpayer need be prepared to give Greece more breathing room, then it's natural that private creditors would have to participate in such a project," he said.

"I cannot say how that would look concretely at the moment, since we are still waiting for the report from the Troika," Kotthaus said, adding that he did not expect the report before Friday evening, or perhaps even Saturday or Sunday.

(Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner, Brian Rohan; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)