Greece and Germany are not opponents but partners working toward the same goal, which was to protect the eurozone and the common currency, Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas stressed on Wednesday.

Droutsas, who had accompanied Prime Minister George Papandreou on a visit to Paris for a meeting of the Socialist International council, was referring to opposing views expressed by Papandreou and German Chancellor Angela Merkel concerning a proposed "debt restructuring" mechanism for Eurozone countries that needed help meeting their debts.

Papandreou's position in Paris was one that "reflected reality" and a "responsible position for both Greece and other countries facing difficulties but also for the entire Eurozone and the euro," Droutsas stressed in an interview with the radio station 'Real'.

He emphasised, however, that Papandreou's criticism of Merkel's plan did not mean that Greece and Germany were "necessarily on a course of conflict" and pointed out that Europe was currently experiencing unprecedented situations.

"We are in a negotiation, at this time, as to how the European Union must deal with the challege that it faces in view of the European Council in December and at this time different views and positions will definitely be expressed," he added.

Commenting on a statement by Austria's finance minister Josef Proell about possibly not releasing the third tranche of the loan to Greece, Droutsas pointed out that Proell had since issued a later statement that altered his previous one.

In related comments, meanwhile, government spokesman George Petalotis underlined that the later release of the third tranche of the loans to Greece in January would not create cash flow problems for the country.

He noted that the release of the funds in January had been decided some time ago with the European Union and was due to technical issues arising from the structure of the simultaneous payments by all countries in the Eurozone.

Petalotis also pointed to statements made by European Commissioner Olli Rehn and his spokesman on Wednesday, confirming that the political decision to release the third tranche of the loan was always scheduled to take place at the European Council in December and the money released in January.

The spokesman also underlined that there was no "Greek-German conflict" and only different approaches to the issue of how private investors should participate in the European financial support mechanism.

He noted that Greece had a "right and obligation" as a result of the forced adjustment it was having to undergo over the past year to have an opinion on how issues similar to those of Greece might be solved.

Greece and Germany are not opponents but partners working toward the same goal, which was to protect the eurozone and the common currency, Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas stressed on Wednesday.

Droutsas, who had accompanied Prime Minister George Papandreou on a visit to Paris for a meeting of the Socialist International council, was referring to opposing views expressed by Papandreou and German Chancellor Angela Merkel concerning a proposed "debt restructuring" mechanism for Eurozone countries that needed help meeting their debts.

Papandreou's position in Paris was one that "reflected reality" and a "responsible position for both Greece and other countries facing difficulties but also for the entire Eurozone and the euro," Droutsas stressed in an interview with the radio station 'Real'.

He emphasised, however, that Papandreou's criticism of Merkel's plan did not mean that Greece and Germany were "necessarily on a course of conflict" and pointed out that Europe was currently experiencing unprecedented situations.

"We are in a negotiation, at this time, as to how the European Union must deal with the challege that it faces in view of the European Council in December and at this time different views and positions will definitely be expressed," he added.

Commenting on a statement by Austria's finance minister Josef Proell about possibly not releasing the third tranche of the loan to Greece, Droutsas pointed out that Proell had since issued a later statement that altered his previous one.

In related comments, meanwhile, government spokesman George Petalotis underlined that the later release of the third tranche of the loans to Greece in January would not create cash flow problems for the country.

He noted that the release of the funds in January had been decided some time ago with the European Union and was due to technical issues arising from the structure of the simultaneous payments by all countries in the Eurozone.

Petalotis also pointed to statements made by European Commissioner Olli Rehn and his spokesman on Wednesday, confirming that the political decision to release the third tranche of the loan was always scheduled to take place at the European Council in December and the money released in January.

The spokesman also underlined that there was no "Greek-German conflict" and only different approaches to the issue of how private investors should participate in the European financial support mechanism.

He noted that Greece had a "right and obligation" as a result of the forced adjustment it was having to undergo over the past year to have an opinion on how issues similar to those of Greece might be solved.