[BERLIN] A spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the latest Greek request for an extension of its loan agreement with Europe was a "good signal"and provided a basis for further talks, but was not sufficient in its current form.
Speaking at a regular government news conference on Friday, spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said the government was united in its stance and praised Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble for doing an "excellent job in this crisis and in the negotiations with Greece".
But she sent a more conciliatory message than Schaeuble had on Thursday, when he issued a statement rejecting the proposal from his Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis.
"The letter from the Greek finance minister makes clear that Greece remains interested in support from the European Union," Wirtz said. "This letter is a good signal which allows us to continue to negotiate."
She added that euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels on Friday would "continue to negotiate on this basis"and that the talks would "hopefully lead to an agreement with Greece."