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Monday, May 21, 2018, 

German FM: Opposition to Greek debt relief unrelated to elections

Athens, 4 July 2013 (MIA) - German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Thursday denied accusations the German government is putting off granting Greece a second round of debt relief because it wants to avoid unpopular decisions prior to elections in Germany on September 22.

"This has nothing to do with elections, it's a fundamental conviction," said Westerwelle, a senior politician in the Free Democrat party - the junior coalition partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel's government.

On Wednesday, both Westerwelle and Merkel publicly voiced their opposition to granting Greece a further writedown on its debts. Earlier in the country's nearly four-year debt crisis, its private creditors accepted losses on bond holdings.

On Thursday, the second day of Westerwelle's visit to Athens, he again warned against writedown speculation and urged Greece to stick to enacting structural reforms, "which are beginning to take effect."

Finance ministers from the 17-nation euro zone will gather in Brussels next Monday as part of a process of determining whether Greece will receive further aid disbursements. Its "troika" of international creditors, the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, is currently conducting a review of Greece's compliance with its bailout program.

While some international observers have called into question Greece's current debt sustainability, Germany, the largest guarantor of the euro zone's permanent bailout fund, has vehemently denied any suggestion that Greece should get a second round of debt relief. lk/15:43

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