Merkel: Waiting for 'sustainable proposal' from Greece

9th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that Athens needs to present a "sustainable" plan as eurozone finance ministers prepare to meet later this week on the Greek debt crisis.

"What counts is what Greece will put on the table at that meeting, or perhaps a few days later," Merkel said in Washington ahead of the talks set for Wednesday.

With worries mounting that Greece will default on its 315 billion euros ($360 billion) in debt and drop out of the eurozone, Merkel stressed that Germany's policy has always been to keep Greece inside the common currency group.

However, she said that the "basic rules" of the Greek bailout program by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund "have always been the same."

"You put in your own efforts and on the other side you're being shown solidarity. A quid pro quo," Merkel told a joint press conference with US President Barack Obama.

"These programs are the basis of any discussion we have. I've always said I'll wait for Greece to come with a sustainable proposal and then we'll talk about this."

Obama only made fleeting reference to the Greek crisis rocking European markets, stressing that he hoped to hear from Merkel how Europe and the IMF will work with Athens to bring the country back to sustainable growth "inside the eurozone".

Greece is pushing its creditors to allow it to loosen the austere requirements of the bailout programs and allow it room to spend more to give its economy a boost.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he would be "unshakable" in carrying out his government's anti-austerity agenda as he called for temporary EU funding to help stave off a default.

© 2015 AFP

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