BERLIN (MNI) – The talks between the troika of the European
Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary
Fund have not been completed yet, the German Finance Ministry said

“According to our knowledge the talks are still underway,” ministry
spokeswoman Silke Bruns said at a regular press conference here. Thus,
it was still not clear if Eurozone finance ministers can already make
any decisions regarding further aid for Greece at their next Eurogroup
meeting on November 12, she said.

German Deputy Finance Minister Steffen Kampeter said earlier this
week Germany expected that Greece would not meet the fiscal
consolidation goals agreed with its creditors from the EU and the IMF.
Any changes to the Greek program have to be approved by the German
Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, he said.

A senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right
CDU/CSU-FDP government coalition said in a newspaper interview published
Friday that Greece might get more time to meet its goals.

“We might be willing to discuss a modest delay for achieving the
deficit goals,” FDP parliamentary leader Rainer Bruederle told German
regional daily Rheinische Post.

Merkel will meet the leaders of the main international economic
organizations, including IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, for a
routine annual meeting in Berlin next Tuesday, German government
spokesman Steffen Seibert announced today. However, no bilateral talks
with Lagarde are foreseen, he said.

On Thursday, Merkel will also meet Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny
in Berlin. The Irish fiscal consolidation and reform program is working
“very well,” Seibert said.

On Sunday, Merkel and Kenny had issued a joint statement after
having spoken on the telephone. They reaffirmed the commitment made by
Eurozone leaders in June to task the Eurogroup to examine the situation
of the Irish financial sector “with a view to further improving the
sustainability of the well performing adjustment program.”

Moreover, they underlined that “Ireland is a special case, and that
the Eurogroup will take that into account.”

–Berlin bureau: +49-30-22 62 05 80; email:

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