German minister suggests more time for Greece

AP News
Posted: Aug 15, 2012 10:20 AM

BERLIN (AP) — German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is suggesting Greece should be given more time to implement austerity measures demanded as part of the country's bailout.

Westerwelle was quoted as telling Der Spiegel's online edition Wednesday "the lost time from the Greek election campaign must be dealt with."

The comments come as Europe's leaders await the report by inspectors from the so-called "troika' of the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank on Greece's progress in implementing cuts and reforms.

If the report finds Athens has fallen short of its targets, it could stop receiving loans and face bankruptcy and an exit from the 17-nation eurozone.

Westerwelle didn't say how much time Greece should be given, and emphasized there "can be no substantive changes to the reform agreements."