23:45 GMT20 January 2021
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    Financial crisis in Greece (197)

    The German foreign ministry's spokesman said Berlin had done a lot to help Greece get back on its feet economically.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — Germany is still making efforts to keep Greece as part of the Eurozone and to help it financially, German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said Monday.

    "We want to keep the Eurozone whole, including Greece, and we want to support everything that helps Greece. We are committed to continuing the current aid program," Schaefer said at a briefing.

    The spokesman pointed out the positive signs of reaching a consensus between institutions and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during a donors' meeting last week.

    "We have indeed done a lot to help Greece to economically get back on its feet, so that the Greek citizens feel better in the Eurozone," he said.

    Greece seeks reforms which will help it manage its debt burden. Since the IMF refused to join the third bailout program for Greece in 2015, only the European Stability Mechanism has been allocating money to the country. The IMF and Eurozone governments could not agree upon the primary surplus Greece should reach in 2018 and the amount of debt relief. The European Union said Athens should achieve a 3.5-percent primary surplus by 2018 and sustain it, while the IMF argued for 1.5 percent.

    Last December, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Greece should either carry out reforms or leave the Eurozone. He proposed to terminate certain rights of Greek labor unions and allow companies fire personnel more easily. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras criticized the proposals.

    Since 2010, Greece has received three bailout tranches. Its debt is reportedly the highest in the Eurozone, totaling over 300 billion euros ($320 billion).

    Financial crisis in Greece (197)


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