“We don’t need more money, we do need time.”
On Saturday the Greek prime minister takes his message to Paris following his meeting with Angela Merkel.
In Berlin Antonis Samaras promised results over reforms and cuts that are conditions of the Greek bailout deal.
The German Chancellor appeared to differ from some compatriots who seem happy to cut Greece adrift.
“I want Greece to remain part of the eurozone. That concept guides me and it guides our mutual talks and negotiations, because we know: the euro isn’t just a currency. It is the idea of a unified and irreversible Europe. Thats, why a common will to resolve the crisis is necessary,” said Angela Merkel.
The Greek prime minister has been arguing for four years, not two, to complete reforms.
“We don’t want more aid, we did not ask for more money; but we need time to breathe, it is a big leap that Greece is making,” he said.
Both Greek and German leaders stressed the importance of next month’s report by the troika of international lenders. Merkel said nothing would be decided before then. Samaras said he was confident it would back what Athens was doing.
There has been suspicion in Germany about France’s commitment to cutting deficits and balancing its books.
But on Thursday Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande were united in their call for Greece to meet its obligations.