BERLIN (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will only decide on its participation in the Greek bailout program once the second review is completed and that is unlikely to happen before next year, a German finance ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
"We're still in the second review... it needs some time, it could not be completed yet," Finance Ministry spokeswoman Friederike von Tiesenhausen told a government news conference.
"And therefore it's also clear that we won't get this decision (on the IMF participation) before the end of the year, this will go into the new year," the spokeswoman added.
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Greece on Tuesday welcomed the euro zone's offer of short-term debt relief but urged Germany and the IMF to abandon their demands for harsher austerity once its third bailout program expires in 2018.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Madeline Chambers)