Germany's finance minister says there's little prospect of the euro zone reaching a deal with Athens next week on economic reforms that would unlock bailout funds, potentially leaving Greece perilously short of money. Melanie Ralph reports.
A warning from Germany's finance minister. Don't bank on a Greek bailout deal next week. Speaking in New York on Wednesday, Wolfgang Schaeuble said Athens must regain market trust. Berlin IS willing to help ... if Greece rebuilds a competitive economy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE, GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER, SAYING: "Otherwise it's a bottle without bottom and you can't spend hundreds of billions and another hundred of of billions in a bottle without a bottom." Reuters chief desk editor, Jeremy Gaunt, says Schaeuble has been at odds with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras ever since his election. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CHIEF DESK EDITOR, JEREMY GAUNT, SAYING: ''It's a clash of philosophies. On the one hand, you have a tight-fisted German conservative, on the other you have a very left-wing Greek prime minister whose people are fed up with years of austerity.'' Greece downgraded further into 'junk' on Wednesday. Standard & Poor's says prolonged negotiations over the bailout means a default is increasingly likely. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CHIEF DESK EDITOR, JEREMY GAUNT, SAYING: ''Well, the first big thing will be next month when Greece will basically have between paying some pensions and some public worker salaries - or paying the IMF.'' Greece and its creditors keen to reach an outline agreement at an April 24 meeting of European finance ministers in Latvia. Whether Athens can produce a program of reforms deemed acceptable, though, a tall order.