'Door open to discussions' on Greece: Hollande, Merkel

6th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday the door was open for a return to debt negotiations with Greece, but called on Athens to make "serious" proposals.

"The door is open to discussions and it is now up to the government of Alexis Tsipras to make serious, credible proposals so that this willingness to stay in the eurozone can translate into a lasting programme," Hollande said.

"I stress the fact that time is running out and there is urgency -- urgency for Greece and urgency for Europe," he said after meeting Merkel in Paris a day after Greek voters rejected bailout proposals by international lenders.

Merkel echoed Hollande's comments that the door was open to further talks to resolve the debt crisis, but said conditions on returning to talks for a new rescue package "have not yet been met".

"And that is why we are now waiting for very precise proposals from the Greek prime minister, a programme that will allow Greece to return to prosperity," said Merkel.

Ahead of a hastily-arranged eurozone meeting on Tuesday, Hollande said that while in Europe "there is place for solidarity, there is also a balance between responsibility and solidarity which must be our course of action in the coming days."

Merkel said eurozone countries had already shown "a lot of solidarity with Greece -- the last proposal was very generous."

She said it was also vital to respect the views of all 19 eurozone countries.

"That also is democracy," she said.

Heads of state meeting on Tuesday will define a position in response to Greek proposals, Hollande said.

"It's a question of visibility, credibility and I would even say dignity," he said.

"Europe is not just an economic, monetary, financial construct. Europe is an assembly founded on values, principles, on a conception of the world... a conception founded on freedom, openness, and also on respect."


© 2015 AFP

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