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Greek bailout program would end if IMF pulled out: German finance minister

Reuters

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany believes the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will remain on board with Greece's bailout, a finance ministry spokesman reiterated on Monday, but said that a IMF decision to pull out would mean the end of the current program.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has already made clear that if the IMF were not to participate, "then the program is over", spokesman Juerg Weissgerber said during a news conference when asked about an expected decision by the IMF board on Greece.

Germany, Europe's largest economy, wants the IMF to have a stake in Greece's bailout to give the rescue plan greater credibility, but opposes granting Athens the significant debt relief that the IMF is demanding.

Berlin has opposed large-scale debt relief unless Greece completes wide-ranging reforms and keeps running budget surpluses of 3.5 percent in the medium-term following the end of the bailout program in 2018.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Victoria Bryan)

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