There is no alternative to providing financial aid to Greece, subject to tough conditions, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Thursday.
"We have to go this route," Schaeuble said in Berlin. "If it succeeds, it won't cost any taxpayers' money at the end of the day."
Schaeuble said it was not yet certain that Germany would approve financial aid for Greece, adding that a budget consolidation plan for Athens would be critical.
European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund officials are in Athens negotiating a three year fiscal authority plan as a condition to release emergency loans to debt-stricken Greece. [ID:nLDE63S0BL]
Schaeuble hopes they can wrap up a deal by the weekend.
"We are not defending Greece, we are defending the stability of our currency," he said. "We will see on Sunday whether we can accomplish that."
Failure to find a solution for Greece could risk a 'domino effect' through the euro zone, Schaeuble said, adding: "Then the stability of the euro as a whole would be in question."
Without budget consolidation in Greece, there would be unforeseeable market consequences, he said.
The German government is pushing for Athens to swallow a tough budget austerity plan in order to receive aid -- a drive it hopes will assuage popular resistance in Germany to helping Greece and also deter other euro zone states from seeking help.
ReutersLast Mod: 29 Nisan 2010, 20:33