Merkel expects Greece to keep commitments: spokesman

26th January 2015, Comments 0 comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expects the new Greek government to uphold its commitments to international creditors, her spokesman said Monday after the electoral triumph of Greece's anti-austerity leftists.

"In our view it is important for the new government to take action to foster Greece's continued economic recovery," the spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told reporters.

"That also means Greece sticking to its previous commitments."

Seibert declined to comment directly on the vote, in which Alexis Tsipras's radical leftwing Syriza swept to victory, calling it the "sovereign decision" of Greek voters that "of course must be respected".

He said Germany, the paymaster for eurozone bailout packages, intended to offer "to work with" the new government, while listening closely to what it said about how it sees its "future reform course and the fulfilment of its commitments".

Seibert said Merkel would, according to custom, send her congratulations to Tsipras once he is sworn in, and wished him success.

"Since the beginning of the crisis, the German government's goal has been to stabilise the eurozone" and all its member states, including Greece, he said.

A spokeswoman for the finance ministry said Germany's position on debt forgiveness for Greece, something demanded by Tsipras, was "unchanged".

But she noted that the European Union had repeatedly expressed willingness to discuss extending the current aid programme with Greece.

Merkel, as the European Union's most powerful leader, has championed swingeing budget cuts and strict economic reforms in response to the eurozone debt crisis.

Many in Greece and other stricken countries blame her for compounding the suffering of their people and choking off economic recovery.

But Germany argues that only fiscal discipline will put Europe on a sustainable growth path.

© 2015 AFP

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