Hollande says decision on Greece due
Europe must take a decision quickly on the future of Greece once the troika report from the European Commission, ECB and IMF is completed in October, French president Francois Hollande said today.
Mr Hollande and Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras told reporters after a meeting in Paris that Greece must remain in the euro zone.
"On the European side, we are waiting for the troika report... Once we have this report, once the commitments ... are confirmed, Europe has to do what it has to do," Mr Hollande said.
"We've been facing this question for 2-1/2 years, there's no time to lose, there are commitments to reaffirm on both sides, decisions to take, and the sooner the better, that means after the troika report at the European summit in October."
Mr Samaras discussed how to get the Greek economy growing again with Mr Hollande.
The meeting follows talks between Mr Samaras and German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin yesterday. Dr Merkel insisted she was “deeply convinced” the new Greek government will make every effort to remain in the euro zone.
Dr Merkel’s remarks, at a joint press conference with Mr Samaras, came hours after a close aide floated the idea of a Greek departure.
Germany’s finance ministry meanwhile has confirmed reports yesterday that it has set up a working group to study the possible fallout of a Greek exit.
“I want that Greece remains part of the euro zone and I know of no one in government who doesn’t want this,” said Dr Merkel at a press conference following talks with Mr Samaras.
“Honouring commitments and meeting expectations will lead to credibility returning to the whole of the euro zone.” The Greek prime minister expected no concessions on his inaugural visit to Berlin yesterday.
“Greece needs one thing: a chance for growth. If we manage that, I am convinced this will be a signal that Europe is capable of solving its problems and moving forward,” he said in Berlin. “We don’t want more help – we have already received the means – we need time to reach as much as possible of our goal as possible.”
Dr Merkel’s political allies have dismissed the idea of more time or money for Athens. Finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble told German radio that “more time implies . . . more money”.