Setting up a European fund to help Greece is not a solution to Athens' debt problems, a German Finance Ministry spokesman said on Monday, dismissing an idea that has been discussed in Germany.
That does not appear to be a solution to the problem, Finance Ministry spokesman Michael Offer told a regular news conference, adding that there was no way around Greece consolidating its public finances.
Offer said Germany did not foresee the International Monetary Fund offering financial aid to Greece, but that it could provide technical support on the matter.
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble expected Greece's public finance consolidation plans to be debated at a meeting of euro zone finance ministers later on Monday, Offer added.
In a weekend radio interview, Finance Ministry State Secretary Steffen Kampeter urged Greece to push ahead with reforms, but looking further ahead he added:
We will have to decide whether we set up something like the International Monetary Fund ... for the euro zone. That will be something to discuss, as a form of insurance.
Deutsche Bank chief economist Thomas Mayer also raised the idea in a newspaper interview on Monday of setting up a fund to address the problems of a debt-stricken euro zone country.
Mayer told the Handelsblatt business daily that the fund could be financed by contributions from euro zone countries that breach the European Union's debt and deficit criteria.
(Reporting by Dave Graham and Paul Carrel, editing by Mike Peacock)