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Seventeenth Franco-German Council of Ministers/Greece

Published on April 2, 2015
Statements by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, at his joint press conference with Mrs Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
Berlin, March 31, 2015

Q. – (on Greece, the sufficient reforms and its closer relations with Moscow)

THE PRESIDENT – Yes, there’s a discussion which began several weeks ago now and which has speeded up in recent days. I’ve been given to understand that the Prime Minister, Mr Tsipras, came to Berlin and stayed for a while, a few hours even. I myself regularly speak to him on the telephone so we can ensure that the reforms expected – his government’s – can result in commitments being honoured, which is the condition set for the release of funds. So the work must still be done in the coming days, and it’s being done in Europe.

I think Greece is well aware that its destiny lies in Europe, and it’s also because it wants to remain in the Euro Area that it’s continuing this process and wants to reach an outcome. Apart from that, as the Chancellor said, European countries can go to Moscow without it causing a problem for Europe, and I’m also aware that there’s no solution for Greece but to be actively involved in European life.

Q. – (on the prospect of an imminent agreement with Greece)

THE PRESIDENT – On Greece: the sooner the better. As I said a few days ago, we’ve already wasted too much time, so we must try and catch up, because it’s a challenge for Greece, a challenge for the Euro Area. The discussions that have begun, following our meeting on the sidelines of the European Council, must enable us to reach a conclusion, but all the reforms must still be presented and we must then have meetings of the institutions enabling the funds to be released. So let’s work – that’s the only word I can use. (…)./.

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