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German finance minister urges Greece to 'do more'

The finance ministers of France and Germany have voiced hope that Athens would soon reach a new bailout deal with its international lenders. Both also urged the IMF to continue its involvement with the debt issue.

Creditors are hoping to reach an agreement with Greece "relatively quickly," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said at the sidelines of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Washington on Saturday.

Greece needs to cut another 5.4 billion euros ($6.1 billion) in spending in order to comply with the creditors' terms and conditions and eventually unlock more of their funds. The government is reportedly planning more pension cuts and further tax hikes.

Athens has announced it would pursue the required regulations before the end of the month.

Earlier this week IMF officials stated that Greece's plans might not be enough to meet the stated goals. To date, the IMF has

refused

to help fund the latest bailout plan, demanding deeper reforms and an EU agreement to ease Greece's debt burden.

'Edge of the cliff'

Speaking in Washington on Saturday, Germany's Schäuble said that Athens and its lenders could reach a deal after EU finance ministers meet in Amsterdam next weekend. At the same time, the minister urged the indebted state to continue implementing reforms.

"Everybody knows that the maneuvering space for the Greek government is limited," he said. "But all say at the same time Greece must do more and can do more."

His French counterpart Michel Sapin also said that the Amsterdam meeting could bring about a breakthrough.

"It is crucial to resolve the Greek issue now or we will always be on the edge of a cliff," he told reporters.

Berlin and Paris want IMF involved

Watch video 01:27

Greece under bailout condition review

Sapin urged the IMF to help fund the latest debt relief plan for Greece.

"If the IMF is no longer on board it would weigh negatively on resolving the problem," he said.

Schäuble also called on the IMF to stay involved, saying that the

Washington-based lender

brought essential technical expertise to the table.

Greece signed up to a bailout worth up to 86 billion euros last year, marking its third international financial lifeline since 2010.

dj/jlw (dpa, AFP)

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