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Germany intends to be a good partner

During her visit to Athens, Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the progress already made by Greece in overcoming the country’s sovereign debt crisis. The pace of reform has picked up she said, and reaffirmed that she would like to see Greece remain part of the euro zone.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras at Athens Airport Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (2nd from right) Photo: Bundesregierung/Kugler

We must now await the report of the troika, which comprises representatives of the EU, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, added the Chancellor.

Regaining credibility

The people of Greece are being called on to make enormous sacrifices, she said. But the country has already come a long way. It is in all of our interests to regain credibility on the international stage, she pointed out.

Europe must be competitive on the world market in future too. "That is the only way to create jobs."

A lot achieved, but much remains to be done

The path that Greece has taken will lead to success, assured the Chancellor. But success will not come overnight and it will not come with the disbursement of one instalment of aid. "A lot has been achieved, but much remains to be done," said Angela Merkel.

She is absolutely convinced that the hard path Greece is taking will be well worth it, declared the Chancellor. "Germany intends to be a good partner and friend along the way."

German assistance for reforms

The Chancellor pledged financial assistance for reforms in the administration and in the health system. Regional administration must be put in place and organisational management in the health system enhanced, she said.

The Chancellor noted that Germany too needs time to put reforms into practice. Coming as she does from what used to be East Germany, she is very well aware how long it takes to put in place new administrative structures.

The Greek government will honour its commitments

The Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said that the world does understand how his country is fighting. The efforts that the government is making to overcome the crisis are being recognised. Greece will honour all its commitments to international creditors, he said.

He declared that the Chancellor is a friend to Greece, and pointed out that she had expressed her respect for the sacrifices being made by the Greek people.

In their talks, he reported, he had made it quite clear that "the people of Greece have bled for these reforms" and that they want to remain in the euro zone.

As well as the Prime Minister, the Chancellor met Greek President Karolas Papoulias. Her itinerary also included a meeting with representatives of the Greek and German business communities.

Oct 09, 2012