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No change of course with regard to Greece

"On the one hand Greece’s own efforts, and on the other solidarity". This principle has worked well with Greece and will continue to be the watchword, declared Chancellor Angela Merkel in London.

The German and Greek flags blow in the wind. Germany respects Greece's internal political processes Photo: picture-alliance/Goldmann

The German government has always geared its actions to ensuring "that Greece remains part of the euro zone".

Chancellor Angela Merkel is quietly confident that this will continue to work. "We have come a very long way, and I have no doubts at all that we will manage the path ahead together," she added. After all, Greece has already made a huge number of sacrifices.

Tangible progress

Federal government spokesperson Steffen Seibert had previously refuted reports that the Federal Chancellery was contemplating scenarios of whether Greece could leave the euro zone, and if so how. What counts are the political decisions, he said, "and since the start of the crisis these have been to ensure that Greece remains a member of the euro zone, and to stabilise Greece within this context".

The initial fruits of the efforts made can already be seen, he continued. "The first signs of economic growth are again apparent, the budget situation is much improved, the balance of payments enhanced, and Greek companies significantly more competitive." Both Greek citizens and the responsible politicians in Greece deserve our respect for what has been achieved.

Helping stabilise the situation

There is thus no change at all in the common intention to help Greece stabilise its situation within the euro zone, said Steffen Seibert. The only question is how we can help our partner Greece to bring these programmes to a successful conclusion and to continue along the path of sustainable economic recovery.

Steffen Seibert also stated that the German government respects the democratic decisions of Greece. The country has an election campaign to conduct. "At the end of the month the elections will yield a result. Let us wait for the outcome." There will naturally be no intervention in Greece’s election campaign. Parliamentary elections will be held in Greece on 25 January.

Jan 08, 2015