France urges Greece to pursue reforms

Aug. 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM
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PARIS, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The president of France said this weekend Greece must move forward with economic reforms needed to secure a bailout grant from the European Union.

President Francois Hollande met with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Paris Saturday to hear Samaras' case for more time to pass financial reforms. Hollande instead urged Greece to hurry the process along.

"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," Hollande said.

Britain's The Guardian said Samaras proposed a two-year extension of the time limit for pushing through the reforms demanded by the EU. Hollande's position was in line with the one German Chancellor Angela Merkel took when she met with Samaras Friday.

Hollande said a formal EU decision on Samaras' extension request would not come until a report on the situation was issued by the International Monetary Fund next month.

In the meantime, Hollande praised Greece for the steps it has already taken and urged solidarity among the EU nations. "For me, the question should no longer be asked: Greece is in the eurozone," he said.

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