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German finance minister says future aid to Greece will be 'much smaller'


Wolfgang Schaeuble, minister of finance of Germany, attends the European Banking Congress on Nov. 23, 2012 in Frankfurt.


Hannelore Foerster

BERLIN, Germany — German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said future financial assistance to Greece will be "much smaller" than the massive bailouts the debt-strapped nation has received thus far, according to the Associated Press.

Schaeuble's comments appeared in Germany's Handelsblatt daily on Friday, about a month before the nation holds its general election.

Germany's contribution to the 240-billion euro Greek bailout packages was the largest of the European bloc and the issue has polarized voters — and divided the government — here. 

According to Britain's Telegraph, Schaeuble told Handelsblatt that more financial support will be provided "on condition that the government in Athens meet its agreed commitments and on the expectation the sums involved will be much smaller than before." 

The AP said Schaeuble was asked where such assistance to Greece would come from and he responded by pointing to the European Stability Mechanism, a special fund for financial crises that he said was "far from exhausted."

The economic downturn in Greece, now in its sixth year, has dragged much of the Eurozone along with it. The International Monetary Fund announced in June that government cuts did not have the intended effect and made the recession there worse, according to the AP.

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