Germany to approve Greek deal if promises met: Merkel ally

By Reuters

Feb 22, 2015 08:22 AM EST

The German parliament could approve a four-month extension to euro zone funding for Greece, on condition Athens presents a list of reforms as promised, a senior ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted as saying.

Greece has secured a funding extension, averting bankruptcy and a euro exit, provided it comes up with promises of economic reforms by Monday, but Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says the deal canceled austerity commitments made to creditors.

"The Greeks have to do their homework now," Volker Kauder, leader of Merkel's conservatives in parliament, told Welt am Sonntag newspaper. "Then, an extension of the aid program can be approved by the German Bundestag." 

"Greece has finally realized that it cannot turn a blind eye to reality," he said in an interview published on Saturday.

The parliamentary leader of Merkel's junior coalition partner SPD said it was a good sign that Greece wanted to press ahead with reforms now. "But this really has to happen now," Thomas Oppermann told Welt am Sonntag.

Other German conservative lawmakers welcomed the agreement cautiously, but also stressed there was still work to do.

"We've taken an important step forward, but we've not reached the finishing line yet," said Ralph Brinkhaus, deputy parliamentary floor leader for Merkel's conservatives.

The issue of whether parliament approves the extension depended on Athens's reform list, Brinkhaus added.

"Greece has lost some trust of its European partners in the last months. The extension of the program by four months has to be used to restore this trust," he said.

Hans Michelbach, another senior conservative lawmaker, said Europe should not be fobbed off by empty promises. "Without reliable considerations from Athens, the deal is worth nothing."

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told reporters on Friday that the Greek government would have a difficult time explaining the deal to its voters.

"Being in government is a date with reality, and reality is often not as nice as a dream," he said, stressing that no aid payment would be made until Athens properly completed its bailout program.

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