Belfast Telegraph

Greece needs third bailout: Germany

GERMANY'S finance minister has admitted for the first time that Greece will need a third aid package, in a move that will pile pressure on the EU to help Ireland leave its bailout later this year.

"There will have to be another programme in Greece," Wolfgang Schaeuble told an election campaign audience in northern Germany yesterday, in comments that raised the prospect of a step that could be deeply unpopular domestically just five weeks before national elections. The prospect of a third bailout for Greece will place even greater pressure on the EU to help Ireland successfully exit its bailout programme at the end of the year.

The EU needs at least one of the bailout countries to prove the bailout programme "works".

Ireland is considered the only country with a realistic prospect of doing so.

In Athens, a Greek finance ministry official said a new bailout would focus on plugging an expected funding shortfall over 2014-2016.

"Greece and its lenders are examining ways to plug any funding gap that Greece will face over the next few years," the official said on condition of anonymity.

The measures under consideration included using leftover funds from a bank bailout programme and previously discussed debt support measures, the official said.

Belfast Telegraph