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Germany Says Quick Greek Aid Unlikely

  • VOA News

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble delivers his speech during the 'German Economic Forum,' organized by German weekly newspaper 'Die Zeit,' in the St.Michaelis church in Hamburg, Germany, November 8, 2012.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble delivers his speech during the 'German Economic Forum,' organized by German weekly newspaper 'Die Zeit,' in the St.Michaelis church in Hamburg, Germany, November 8, 2012.

Germany, the economic leader of the euro currency bloc, says Greece should not expect quick action on new bailout funds even though it has approved another unpopular austerity plan.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Thursday he does not expect eurozone finance chiefs meeting next Monday to immediately release another $40 billion rescue package to the Athens government, as Greek leaders had hoped after agreeing to $17 billion in spending cuts. Greece says its needs the money to avoid a financial collapse.

"Right now we have Greece on board. We could witness last night how it went," said Schaeuble. "With Greece we are not out of the woods yet. I don't see how we can make decisions with Greece and about Greece next week. It is too early to think that we made it. We are not out of the woods yet."

Watch related video of striking public transit workers in Greece

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Greece's adoption of the austerity measures "represents progress." Greece is in its fifth year of a recession and the government said that its jobless rate hit 25.4 percent in August, a new high.

One unemployed Greek worker, George Galakos, said he feels a sense of hopelessness in looking for a job.

"I feel a great deal of insecurity, like everyone else. I try to do what I can to find a job, asking friends and acquaintances, but I haven't managed to succeed yet. The supply [of job seekers] is huge and the demand by employers is tiny,'' said Galakos.

The eurozone economy is contracting, but the central bank Thursday left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of three-quarters of one percent.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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