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  • German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble presents his budget plan for 2017 in Berlin, March 23, 2016.

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble presents his budget plan for 2017 in Berlin, March 23, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Wolfgang Schaeuble believes in a solution for Greece, as long as it does not involve debt relief.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told German television that he was "quite optimistic" lenders would find a solution on Greece in the next few weeks, but he added this would not include debt relief for the troubled country.

"We will find a solution in the coming weeks but it will not have anything to do with debt relief but rather with Greece having to do more on the way to becoming a competitive economy," he said in an interview with public broadcaster ARD.

Given Greek interest repayments had been deferred for 10 years, Schaeuble said those raising the issue of debt relief simply "don't want to talk about what Greece needs to do." He added that it was difficult to get Athens to fulfill its obligations.

The European Union and the International Monetary Fund held talks Friday to agree on how to coax Greece into more economic reforms linked to its bailout and unlock more funds, with one EU official saying they hoped for a deal by Sunday.

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