Merkel urges Greece to stick to reforms
Merkel urges Greece to stick to reforms

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Greece to stick to its program of reforms as she began talks with French President Francois Hollande that are likely to be dominated by the debt-wracked nation.

"It is important for me that we all stick to our commitments ... but I will encourage Greece to continue along its path of reforms," Dr Merkel told reporters.

She said it was important to wait for a report by Greece's international creditors on Athens' progress on reforms before making any further decisions on whether the recession-hit country could stay in the euro.

For his part Mr Hollande said he was in favour of Greece remaining in the 17-country bloc but that this was in the hands of the Greeks themselves.

"I want Greece to stay in the eurozone," he said, adding however: "It's up to the Greeks to make the necessary efforts so that we can achieve this goal".

Dr Merkel said she and Mr Hollande would also discuss how to implement decisions taken at the European level regarding banking supervision as well as the current crisis in Syria.

Dr Merkel was due to meet Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Berlin today, with Mr Hollande receiving him in Paris on Saturday.

Mr Samaras was expected to push for an extension to a deadline to make some 11.5 billion euros ($A13.8 billion) in spending cuts and sweeping economic reforms as he battles to return the economy, in its fifth year of recession, to a growth path.

The West Australian

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