Obama, Merkel discuss Greek debt crisis in phone call

7th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

President Barack Obama spoke by telephone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday about the Greece debt crisis before talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the White House said.

"We continue to encourage all sides to participate constructively in those conversations," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, renewing calls for a deal between Athens and its creditors.

Debt-stricken Greece is seeking a third bailout program since 2010, and Merkel said as she arrived for an emergency summit in Brussels that "we still do not have the basis for negotiations."

Anxiety is building over the possibility that Greece -- which is wrestling with a massive 320 billion euro ($350 billion) debt mountain -- could be forced out of the eurozone.

Washington has repeatedly urged Greece and its creditors to find a compromise.

EU and Greek officials need "to agree to a package of reforms and financing that would allow Greece to be on a path toward debt sustainability but also economic growth," Earnest told reporters on Monday.

Obama spoke by phone with French President Francois Hollande on Monday about the crisis, with both saying a deal would "require difficult compromises from all sides," according to the White House.

© 2015 AFP

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