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Germany's next finance minister stresses price stability

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BERLIN, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Germany's Finance Minister-in-waiting said on Tuesday his focus would be on price stability and that he did not plan to raise new borrowing next year beyond the 100 billion euros ($112.56 billion) already planned.

Christian Lindner, head of the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) who will share power in Europe's biggest economy with the Social Democrats and Greens, said he would watch inflation closely and that the COVID-19 crisis had triggered one-off effects.

"The future federal government will stick to the (path) of the last few years and will therefore stand for stability," he told a news conference after signing the coalition deal.

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He said the central bank must be able to respond to monetary developments and that the euro zone should stick to its commitment to stability, together with efforts on growth and investment.

"The future German government will contribute to the discussion about a review of the fiscal rules with this in mind," said Lindner, who takes on his post later this week.

Many in the FDP had opposed bailouts to Greece during the euro zone crisis but Lindner praised efforts made by Athens to turn things around.

"In the last few years, (the Greek government) has succeeded in putting the Greek economy on a new course for success with very impressive reform measures," said Lindner.

"Conversely, Germany must aspire to become as ambitious as Greece's domestic policy."

Lindner said budget planning under Angela Merkel's outgoing government was forward looking and seemed to be adequate for 2022, indicating he did not intend to increase planned new debt for next year of around 100 billion euros.

He reiterated that the incoming government was committed to returning to strict fiscal rules known as the debt brake from 2023.

($1 = 0.8884 euros)

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Reporting by Kirsti Knolle Writing by Madeline Chambers Editing by Bernadette Baum

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