Germany's finance minister was forced to go back on his earlier comments
In an interview with broadcaster ARD, Wolfgang Schäuble was reminded of his previous comments, in which he was quoted as saying the pressure needed to stay on Greece or it “couldn’t stay in the currency union”.
Mr Schäuble played down his words, claiming that, while Greece was “not yet over the hill”, the country would not face any issues if it carried out the reforms set out by ministers.
The finance minister’s denial came as EU finance ministers prepare for the next round of bailout talks on Monday.
I’m confident. Greece is on the right path,
European governments are currently locked in a month-long stand off over the next phase of Greece’s £73billion (€86billion) bailout programme.
European Union officials are desperately trying to negotiate terms and conditions that Athens must accept in order to secure further funding. He added: “I’m confident. Greece is on the right path”.
Greece is currently holding out for its third instalment of bailout funds, but talks remain on shaky ground due to indecision from the IMF over its involvement.
Greece is awaiting the third instalment of its bailout package
Greece faces a debt repayment bill of €7billion, which would be unaffordable without further bailout funding.
The past two years has seen the debt-wracked country deliver on reforms set out in previous bailout deals, winning praise for its significant economic changes.
However, the IMF has repeatedly threatened to walk away from the current bailout package offered to help the Greek economy, citing the situation as “highly unstable”.
Thousands protested against the previous reforms deal in 2016
Mr Schäuble expressed his confidence, however, that the fund would be willing to contribute up to £4.27bn (€5bn) at this stage.
A spokeswoman for Mr Schäuble added the German government considered IMF participation to be essential in Greece’s third aid-for-reforms package.
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