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Samaras says Greece needs more time for cuts; Merkel says Greece will stay in the eurozone

08-25-2012 09:11 BJT

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During talks between Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, Greece made little immediate progress in its quest for more time to carry out painful cuts. But the German leader did offer some support to the stricken country, stressing that Berlin wanted to keep Greece in the euro.

Samaras arrived in Berlin on Friday for talks with Merkel with hopes to gain more time for his country to complete reforms and hold on to its bailout money. Samaras argued that his country should have more time beyond the mid-2014 deadline to complete reforms that are a condition of it continuing to receive bailout loans.

Antonis Samaras said, "We do not want more aid, we did not ask for more money; but we need time to breathe, it is a big leap that Greece is making. We want to reach our goal as soon as possible."

German Chancellor Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Samaras address news conference in Berlin.

Merkel didn’t address Samaras’ hopes of winning more time to carry out reforms, emphasising that stimulating economic growth is a priority.

She insisted that Greece should remain in eurozone.

Angela Merkel said, "I want to say very clearly here and I already said this since the beginning of the financial crisis and this is also the aim of the entire German government, that Greece is a part of the eurozone and I would like Greece to remain part of the eurozone."

Greece’s continued access to the bailout packages hinges on a favourable report next month from the so-called "troika" of the country’s debt inspectors - the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

If they say Greece has failed on key economic reforms that are conditions of the bailout loan, vital funds could be halted.

Samaras will also visit Paris for talks with the French President Francois Hollande on Saturday.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source:

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