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Germany Doesn’t Have Plan to Aid Greece, Finance Ministry Says

3Germany’s Finance Ministry said it has no specific plans for helping Greece combat its deficit crisis, denying a magazine report that euro-area governments may offer as much as 25 billion euros ($34 billion) in aid.
It’s “incorrect” that Germany is considering a “concrete” plan for countries sharing the euro to pump billions in financial aid to Greece, ministry spokesman Martin Kreienbaum said in an e-mailed statement. “The Finance Ministry has taken no decisions in this regard,” the statement said.
Der Spiegel magazine reported earlier today that Germany is considering asking euro-area governments to help provide Greece with loans and guarantees worth 20 billion euros to 25 billion euros, conditional on steps by the government to cut the deficit. Germany would finance almost 20 percent of the aid, the magazine said in article for its Feb. 22 edition, without saying how it got the information.
Greece is “not requesting money from any European Union taxpayer,” government spokesman George Petalotis said in an e- mailed statement today, echoing Prime Minister George Papandreou’s stand. Greece needs “the necessary time and political support to overcome the economic crisis,” he said.
European Union leaders ordered Greece on Feb. 11 to get the bloc’s highest budget deficit under control and promised “determined” action to protect the euro, without offering specific steps to help Greece handle its debt load. EU finance ministers who met on Feb. 15 and 16 also didn’t give specifics.
European Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj Tardio declined to comment on the Spiegel report. The commission, the EU’s executive arm, stands by the statements issued by government leaders on Feb. 11 and by finance ministers this week, he said.
German aid would flow from the state-owned development bank KfW Group, Der Spiegel said. The Frankfurt-based bank isn’t aware of any such plans, spokesman Wolfram Schweickhardt said in a telephone interview today. The government hasn’t decided on any “aid instruments,” the Finance Ministry’s Kreienbaum said.
(source: business week)

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