Germany's Schaeuble 'Confident' of Greece Bailout Deal


German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, the eurozone's most influential official, said he was confident that Greece will win sorely needed funds at bailout talks on Thursday.

"I remain confident that we will find an agreement today on the payment of the latest tranche (of Greece's bailout)," Schaeuble said as he arrived for talks in Luxembourg to discuss the delayed Greek bailout with his eurozone counterparts.

Although Athens will likely have to wait for a long-desired agreement on debt relief, officials said it would at least receive more "clarity" on debt commitments down the road.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde and the eurozone's 19 finance ministers are meeting in Luxembourg with hopes riding high that the talks will secure the release of the latest tranche of Greece's 86-billion euro ($97 billion) bailout agreed in 2015.

Bitter disagreement between Germany and the International Monetary Fund has held up the payout of a fresh tranche for Athens to meet seven billion euros of debt repayments due in July.

"It's a question of goodwill and it's a question of willingness. If everyone around the table makes a very slight and positive move in the right direction we should be able to find an agreement today," said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

The IMF, which took part in Greece's two previous bailouts, has long insisted that more debt relief be part of a deal.

"I think that the IMF has to make their decision in or out," said Hans Joerg Schelling, Austria finance minister.

"It is important for Greece for an access to (borrow money on) the markets and therefore in my opinion they have to say yes or no," he said.

Debt talks could begin as early as October, he added.