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Germany cuts Greece slack after bailout vote

BERLIN, June 18 (Reuters) – Germany may cut Greece some slack after its voters backed a pro-bailout party in weekend elections, with officials saying Athens might get more time to meet its savings goals, though longer-term economic reforms were still set in stone.

German officials, seeing the conservative New Democracy’s win as a vote to keep Greece in the euro zone and respect the terms of the European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout, struck a conspicuously softer line.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle – mindful perhaps that many Germans express impatience with Greece in opinion polls – said the substance of structural reforms in the Greek public sector to reduce its debt and spending were “not negotiable”.