Chancellor Merkel Visits Athens
Enlarge image Chancellor Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (© picture alliance / dpa) During her visit to Athens, Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Greece's progress towards overcoming the debt crisis. The tempo of reform looks to have sped up, and the chancellor reaffirmed her wish that Greece remain in the euro zone.
Chancellor Merkel commented that at this point the only thing is to wait on the report from the troika consisting of the European Union, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.
Winning back credibility
Much is being asked of the Greek people, but already a large part of the way is behind them, according to the chancellor. It is in everyone's interest to win back credibility on the world stage.
It is really about making Europe competitive on the world's markets in the future. “Only stemming from that will jobs grow.”
Much accomplished, but quite a bit to do
The path being taken will lead to success. However, success won't happen overnight, and it won't be realized by paying an aid installment, said Merkel. “Much has been accomplished, but there is still quite a bit left to do.”
Chancellor Merkel said that she is deeply convinced that taking the difficult path is worthwhile. “Germany would like to be a good partner and friend in that process.”
German help for reforms
The chancellor promised financial help towards reforming Greek administration and health care. These reforms are about building a regional administrative system and building an organizational management structure in health care.
Chancellor Merkel noted that implementing reforms also takes time in Germany. Because she hails from one of the new German federal states included after Germany's reunification, she knows how long the establishment of new administrative systems can take.
Greek government to meet promises
The Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras, said that the world understands the fight his country is waging. One recognizes what the government is doing to control the crisis. Greece will fulfill all promises made to international creditors.
He called the chancellor a friend to his country. She has expressed her respect for the sacrifices of the Greek people.
In addition to Prime Minister Samaras, the chancellor also met with Greek President Karolos Papoulias. Finally, the program also included a meeting with Greek and German business representatives.