21/08/2013 05:30 BST

Greece Needs A Third Bailout, Germany Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble speaks at a press conference on July 19, 2013 during the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' meeting in Moscow. Finance ministers and central bankers from G20 countries meet for a two-day meeting on Friday seeking to intensify the battle against tax evasion and prevent a new global slowdown. AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Greece will need another bailout to "get over the hill" and balance its books, German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has warned for the first time.

Speaking at an election rally in north Germany, Schaeuble said: "There will have to be another programme in Greece."

The debt-ridden country's current financial aid programme expires at the end of 2014, with Schaeuble's warning meaning international lenders would have to prop up Greece for the third time.

Schaeuble's comments come as Germany prepares to hold elections in five weeks' time and the latest economic figures in Greece showed it was still in recession for the second quarter of this year.

The Greek economy slumped 23% since 2008, leading to it requiring financial assistance. A total of €240 billion has been pledged to Greece in two bailout loans from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Schaeuble's warning contracts with his boss, German chancellor Angela Merkel, who has insisted that it is too early to judge if Greece needs a further bailout. Last month, the IMF estimated that Greece would need another 11 billion euros in 2014/2015.