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German econ minister "cautiously optimistic" on Greece

BERLIN, Feb 24 (Reuters) - German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Tuesday he was "cautiously optimistic" that progress was being made on talks with Greece about extending its bailout, after Athens submitted reform plans to its European partners.

"I am cautiously optimistic that we are ... moving step-by-step towards a resolution of the conflict," said Gabriel, who as leader of the Social Democrats is also Vice Chancellor in conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition.

"We want to continue aid for Greece but the condition for that is the continuation of the reform programme," he said at a conference in Berlin.

(Reporting by Rene Wagner; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Stephen Brown)