The Group of Seven rich countries is concerned about Greece's debt problems, a Canadian official said on Friday, and hinted that there may be other countries that will also need help.

Canada is this year's chair of the G7.

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty would not discuss the substance of talks between G7 finance ministers and central bank governors early on Friday, but said his G7 partners were watching developments closely.

We are concerned. We're consulting closely with our international partners.

In addition to Canada, the G7 includes Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Echoing comments from other G7 officials, Flaherty told reporters that the G7 believed countries that are borrowing heavily need to rein in fiscal deficits. But he questioned if they could do that on their own.

It's necessary that, first of all, that the countries involved take the steps they need to take and be clear about that, that they're going to take these steps toward fiscal restraint, fiscal responsibility, he said.

They will need some help, in all likelihood, in order to manage the issue, as Greece did.

Leaders of euro zone countries on Friday approved a deal by the European Union and International Monetary fund to provide an aid package to Greece, EU sources said. The aid package of 110 billion euros ($147 billion) is to be released to Greece over three years.

The IMF board is to meet on Sunday to discuss its share of the rescue deal.

Greece has promised to slash spending in return, measures which have provoked violent protests in Athens.

U.S. President Barack Obama, in remarks at the White House to highlight stronger-than-forecast U.S. April job growth, said he had discussed developments in the Greek debt situation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel by telephone.

We agreed on the importance of a strong policy response by the affected countries and a strong financial response from the international community, Obama said.

I made clear that the United States supports these efforts and will continue to cooperate with European authorities and the IMF during this critical period.


U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also participated in the G7 call, but a Treasury spokesman had no immediate comment on the outcome.

A U.S. Treasury official earlier had described the call as being focused on European leaders updating the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors on Greece's debt woes.

Geithner also held conference calls on Friday morning with the heads of two U.S. market regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and with Federal Reserve officials.

The SEC and CFTC are investigating Thursday's sudden stock market plunge, which some market sources say may have been caused by an errant trade by a large bank. An Obama administration official said the Treasury Department was closely monitoring the probe.

The G7 comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. It has lost significance as the world puts more stress on the broader Group of 20 industrialized and emerging economies, but retains a role in issues like the European debt crisis.

(Additional reporting by Sumeet Desai, Jeff Mason, Leika Kihara in Tokyo and Gernot Heller in Berlin; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)