March 13, 2015 / 8:08 AM / in 3 years

Merkel ally says Greece should not expect special treatment

A Greek and an EU flag flutter outside the Foreign Ministry in Athens March 12, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

BERLIN (Reuters) - Greece has to present detailed proposals on how it wants to complete its current bailout program and should not expect special treatment from its euro zone partners, a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted on Friday as saying.

International creditors have frozen the disbursement of any more bailout funds to Greece pending a review of the new leftist government’s reform agenda. Economists have warned that without a cash injection, the country could go bust in the coming weeks.

“The Greek government now has to present its program for the fulfillment of the current second aid package. That’s the only thing we should now focus on,” Volker Kauder, parliamentary leader of Merkel’s conservatives, told the mass-selling daily Bild.

Now is not the right time to discuss a possible third program for Athens, he said, noting that Europe’s bailout rules that were also applied to help countries such as Spain, Portugal and Ireland could not be changed for Greece alone.

“Greece won’t get special treatment. We won’t be swayed by yobbish speech from Athens,” Kauder said, referring to an acrimonious war of words between Greece and Germany, which has long insisted that debtor nations take tough austerity measures.

On Thursday, Athens accused German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble of insulting his Greek counterpart, further straining their difficult bilateral relationship.

Schaeuble, who has become a lightning rod for Greek frustrations with Germany, dismissed the complaint as “nonsense”.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Stephen Brown and Gareth Jones

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