German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she and French President Francois Hollande will coordinate on their approach to Greece to keep pressure on the country at the heart of Europe’s debt crisis to overhaul its economy.
Merkel, speaking to reporters in Berlin before hosting a working dinner with the French president, said they will discuss “how to receive our colleague,” Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who visits the German capital today and Paris tomorrow.
“It’s important to me that we all stand by our obligations and wait for the troika report and see what the result is,” Merkel said in a prepared statement late yesterday, referring to a report due next month on Greece’s progress in meeting its bailout terms. “We, and I, will encourage Greece to pursue the path of reform that demands a lot from the people.”
Samaras has used interviews this week with German and French newspapers to call for more time to meet program targets as European officials look for ways to stave off an immediate crisis after the country’s international creditors report on the health of its finances. Greece is dependent upon receiving outside funds to remain in the 17-nation euro.
“We want, I want, Greece to be in the euro zone,” Hollande said. “It’s up to the Greeks to make responsible efforts to achieve this objective.”
Merkel and Hollande both said there was a need to implement the agreements made at a June summit of European Union leaders, including plans for closer cooperation between banking authorities.
“We favour going faster on banking union” with the European Central Bank, Hollande said. “We have a roadmap, we now have to flesh it out both in a financial sense and in an economic one.”
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