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Half of Germans against debt relief for Greece, survey shows

A man looks down as a Greek national flag flutters atop one of the bastions of the 17th century fortress of Palamidi under an overcast sky at the southern port city of Nafplio, Greece, February 19. 2017. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

BERLIN (Reuters) - Around half of Germans are against granting debt relief to Greece and around three in 10 want the debt-laden country to quit the euro zone, a survey showed on Friday.

The INSA poll for the newspaper Bild showed 46.4 percent of people living in Germany, Europe’s paymaster, thought giving Greece debt relief would be unfair for other euro zone countries.

That compared with around one fifth (18.4 percent) who did not share that view and 9.1 percent who said they did not care.

Athens and its creditors - euro zone member states and the International Monetary Fund - agreed on Monday to resume talks on a long-stalled review of Greece’s bailout, but only after Greece accepted examination of its reforms for 2019 onwards.

The head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, said on Wednesday that Greece does not need a haircut for its debt at the moment but added that debt restructuring and interest rate cuts on bailout loans were necessary.

The German government, preparing for an election on Sept. 24, is against debt relief for Greece.

Reporting by Michelle Martin, editing by Larry King