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Germany: Greek aid extension only makes sense if Athens upholds reforms

[BERLIN] Discussion about a debt reduction for Greece is not in tune with reality and Greece can only get an extension of its aid programme if it is prepared to uphold the promised reforms, a spokesman for the German finance ministry said on Friday. "The reality is simple - at the end of February an aid programme expires which in order to have an orderly ending, needs extra efforts by Greece," Martin Jaeger said at a government news conference.

He added that it was up to the 'troika' of international lenders to decide whether Greece had achieved that. "If some of the new measures announced by the new Greek government are put into practice, then we need to ask if the programme is being substantially put into question, and is irrelevant," he said. "We are prepared to work further with Greece ... But we will not force our help onto Athens," Jaeger said, adding an extension would only be possible if Greece carried out reforms. "Announcements so far from Athens appear to go in the other direction," he added.