BERLIN, Feb 15 (Reuters) - After a three-hour teleconference between finance ministers of countries that share the euro, questions remain over the euro zone’s bailout of Greece, a German government official said on Wednesday.
The official, who declined to be named, said some information discussed on the call had been made available at short notice and must be assessed further, putting off any decision over the matter until Monday at the earliest.
“Along with the examination of information made available at short notice, questions remain that are very important to Germany and other member states about the sustainability of the program,” the official said.
The questions had to do in part with Greece’s ability to work off its mountain of debt in the years ahead. Further information regarding this matter must be examined by Monday, the official added.
Germany and other euro zone countries are concerned that existing Greek pledges of reform will not bring its debt down to levels that are considered sustainable and that it may fall short of an agreed goal to cut its debt to 120 percent of gross domestic product by 2020.
Greece, an ongoing problem for the euro zone and the continuing focus of global financial markets, needs a second bailout if it is to avert bankruptcy when 14.5 billion euros ($18.95 billion)of debt repayments fall due on March 20.
Euro zone finance ministers had been due to meet face-to-face in Brussels on Wednesday, but the group’s Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker scaled this back to a teleconference, complaining that Greek political leaders had failed to provide written commitments that they would stick to steep spending cuts.
The German official said concerns remained over how to ensure Greece would stick to its commitments, noting a need for “strengthening the monitoring of the implementation of the program and the priority for debt reduction via the concept of an escrow account.”
“There was no conflict over the need for these elements,” the official added in regards to the teleconference.