Posted: Feb 17, 2012 3:18 AM
Updated: Feb 17, 2012 7:38 AM
BERLIN (AP) A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she, together with the leaders Italy and Greece, are "optimistic" that a second massive bailout for Greece can be agreed next week.
The statement from Steffen Seibert comes after Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and Greece's Premier Lucas Papademos held a conference call earlier Friday.
The 17 finance ministers of the countries that use the euro are meeting Monday to discuss the bailout.
Seibert's comment is the strongest indication yet that the meeting will bring some tangible decisions on the 130 billion ($171 billion) rescue for Greece as well as a related 100 billion ($132 billion) debt relief from private investors.
Stock markets and the euro have rallied Friday on hopes of a deal being clinched.