Eurogroup head says wants Grexit debate to end

BERLIN (Reuters) - The president of the Eurogroup said on Thursday he would like discussions about a possible Greek exit from the euro zone to stop and he hoped German lawmakers would support opening talks on further Greek aid in a parliamentary vote due on Friday.

Earlier in the day German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble repeated his view that it may still be best for Greece to temporarily leave the euro zone, prompting accusations from the Social Democrats (SPD) that he was undermining the Greek deal that Chancellor Angela Merkel struck at the weekend.

After meeting with SPD politicians in Berlin, Jeroen Dijsselbloem said, "I would certainly be very happy if the talk about Grexit could stop and we could talk about getting Greece back on track and that's what we aim to do with this programme."

Greece has accepted sweeping reforms in return for the prospect of funding worth up to 86 billion euros.

Dijsselbloem, who is also Dutch finance minister, said he hoped the German Bundestag lower house of parliament would offer "a lot of support" for that agreement in its vote on Friday and said this was crucial both for legal and political reasons.

"We need to commit to it, all of us. And yes it's going to be difficult and yes trust is low and that's why we've designed the agreement as we have - it takes it all in steps, in phases and gradually trust will return," he said.

Lawmakers from the conservatives and the SPD, junior coalition partner, voted overwhelmingly in favour of beginning negotiations on a third financial rescue for Greece in test ballots on Thursday, with 48 conservatives voting 'no' and only 2 SPD lawmakers opposing talks.

Dijsselbloem stressed that the deal reached at the weekend was "credible" for Greece and all other members of the euro zone and urged Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and politicians in all of the other euro zone countries to stand behind it now.

He said he had spoken to Tsipras and the Greek finance minister and he was "sure that they're going to try their utmost to stabilise Greece and to keep Greece inside a new programme".

(Reporting by Michelle Martin and Scot W. Stevenson; Editing by Angus MacSwan, Toni Reinhold)