German FinMin wants no Greek debt relief before 2018: Handelsblatt

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble speaks during a news conference at the 2016 World Bank-IMF Spring Meeting in Washington April 16, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble does not want any debt relief for Greece until 2018, thereby avoiding a parliamentary decision on such a move before a federal election expected next autumn, business daily Handelsblatt reported.

Citing a letter to the parliamentary budget committee it had seen, Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday that Schaeuble’s ministry had signaled a willingness to ease Greece’s debt burden in a concession to the International Monetary Fund.

“These measures would be contingent on full implementation of the [Greek reform] program by 2018,” Handelsblatt quoted the ministry as saying in the letter.

Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Victoria Bryan