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German finance minister cautions against unrealistic pledges in Greek vote, opposes debt cut

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BERLIN — Germany's finance minister is cautioning Greek politicians against promising things they can't deliver in upcoming elections and making clear that he opposes a new debt writedown for Athens.

PHOTO: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Greece will hold elections Jan. 25, with polls pointing to a first-place finish for the anti-bailout Syriza party. Syriza is demanding that more than half of Greek bailout debt be canceled.

Asked about that demand, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in an interview with the weekly Der Spiegel published Saturday that "this question doesn't arise." He said the next government must keep to existing agreements because "that is in the interest of the Greeks."

Schaeuble was quoted as saying: "Politicians in Greece must take care that they don't promise more before the election than they can keep afterward."

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