Greece and top world finance officials raced to get rescue funds to the debt-stricken euro zone country but concern in Germany about the scale of the bailout threatened to slow down the process.

Talks over Greece dominated the annual International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings, a day after Athens bowed to market pressure and asked to tap a 45 billion-euro ($60.5 billion) rescue package from the European Union and the IMF.

Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou held talks with International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner who stressed the need for a quick response to the crisis.

Secretary Geithner encouraged them to move quickly to put in place a package of strong reforms and substantial concrete financial support, the U.S. Treasury said in a statement.

That hinted at growing fears that the Greek turmoil could lead to a broader crisis with state debt and must be cut off before it infects other euro-zone economies like Portugal and Spain.

One of the obstacles to getting aid to Greece is that any money from Germany -- the biggest single national contributor to the rescue package -- requires parliamentary approval.

That poses a challenge because of the strong public opposition to the aid package ahead of a key regional election on May 9, 10 days before Greece has to repay a bond.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has invited parliamentary leaders for talks in Berlin on Monday to try to speed up the process. Schaeuble did not travel to Washington for the annual IMF and World Bank meetings due to health reasons, sending his deputy instead.


British Finance Minister Alistair Darling, asked by reporters if Germany was holding up a speedy resolution of the Greek crisis, noted Berlin was not represented at the meetings in Washington at ministerial level.

No one's criticizing anyone, Darling said. What I do think is that it is absolutely imperative that not only do the IMF reach agreement with Greece as quickly as possible but it's also essential that the euro zone countries fulfill the obligations they've already agreed to in relation to making funds available to Greece.

Many Germans are angry at the prospect of bailing out Greece, which has racked up a massive budget deficit and admitted past debt data were inaccurate. Some German newspapers on Saturday said the only option for Greece was to drop out of the single currency euro zone.

Papaconstantinou also met European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and Olli Rehn, the European Union's Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner on Saturday.

Rehn said on Friday that financing for Greece should be ready in early May. It would be the first financial rescue of a member of the euro zone. Time is pressing with an 8.5 billion euro bond due to mature on May 19.

EU and IMF experts are in Athens to talk about policies that would make up a rescue package. Greece has said the Commission could potentially offer a bridge loan to fill a gap if the aid is not approved in time to cover its funding needs.


The global economy has staged an unexpectedly robust rebound in the past year which, under normal circumstances, would have been cause for celebration after nearly two years of economic crisis.

With the Greek crisis roiling markets around the world, finance chiefs have warned about the unfinished business of repairing the global economy.

The world remains a dangerous place, Strauss-Kahn said in remarks to the IMF's policy-steering International Finance and Monetary Committee (IMFC). I urge all of us to recommit to seeing our collective goals to the finish line before reform fatigue sets in.

The IMF is worried about overconfidence among the world's leading economic. Officials on Friday said the fund warned the G20 group of economies that their economic projections, submitted to the IMF, were overly optimistic.

The Fund is evaluating whether national policies contribute to a shared goal of rebalancing the global economy.

Strauss-Kahn reminded ministers they needed to resolve the imbalances -- surpluses in Asia and large deficits in countries such as the United States -- as well as tackle debt levels in advanced economies and the need for more bank regulation.

There is a real risk that we repeat the mistakes of the past, especially if the recovery takes hold and good intentions are forgotten, Rehn said in a statement to the IMFC.

(Additional reporting by Emily Kaiser and Paul Eckert; editing by William Schomberg)