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Austrian finance minister sees lack of trust in Greece

VIENNA (Reuters) - Greece must cooperate with international creditors and boost confidence among its euro zone partners about economic reforms, Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling said in a radio interview, adding a lack of trust was a major problem.

If Athens does not step up efforts to honour terms of its current bailout package, it will find few allies in Europe should it need a third rescue, he added in an interview with Austrian ORF radio aired on Saturday.

He was speaking after European Union leaders welcomed a pledge from Greece to meet demands for a broad package of economic reform proposals within days to unlock the cash Athens needs to avoid crashing out of the euro zone.

Schelling, a conservative who has consistently taken a hard line with Athens, dismissed suggestions it was Greece versus Germany in the current debate. All euro zone members insist Greece respects the rules to let more money flow, he said.


"We have two problems at the moment. One is (a) problem of trust with Greece, because when we decide something it is something else again the next day," he said.

"The second problem is we are not getting facts and figures and it is very difficult to decide on (the basis of) nothing."

He noted Greece's accord with euro zone finance ministers spelled out that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's government should not introduce measures in parliament that have not been agreed in advance.

"But they do this every day, and that does not promote the basis of trust. That is the biggest problem we have at the moment," Schelling said.

Asked about prospects for a third bailout package for Greece, Schelling said this would be legally possible only once the second one was successfully concluded.

"This process is under way now. According to many assessments it may not conclude successfully," he said without making clear to whose assessments he referred.

"We have said clearly that we want to help Greece but it also has to accept the help. Every programme has certain conditions and these conditions are to be respected, but if one doesn't want to respect the conditions then I think most countries are no longer ready to go into a third package."

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Mark Potter)