September 8, 2012 / 5:03 PM / 5 years ago

Merkel looks for deal to keep Greece in euro zone: magazine

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel had reached the view that Greece must not be allowed to leave the euro zone in the autumn and is prepared to grant Athens more flexibility over its bailout payments, der Spiegel magazine wrote on Saturday.

Greece has made scant progress on the economic reforms it has promised its international lenders in return for more cash.

But Merkel sees the necessity of avoiding a third aid program for Athens given the difficulty of getting it passed in the German parliament amid growing bailout fatigue, der Spiegel said, without naming its sources.

It cited the chancellor as telling her inner circle: “We must find a solution”.

That would involve re-organizing the current aid package, for example by increasing upcoming tranches in return for reducing later ones, it said.

Greece’s ‘troika’ of international lenders will probably not take a decision on the country’s future until early November as their report will take longer than expected to deliver, the magazine cited diplomatic sources as saying.

The lenders from the EU, ECB and International Monetary Fund will return to Greece in early September to review progress in reforms and decide on potential adjustments to the bailout agreement and it would take a few weeks before their report is ready, the EU executive said late last month.

Reporting By Sarah Marsh; Editing by John Stonestreet

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