ECONOMY

Hollande suggests he and Merkel will move jointly to help Greece

Speculation about a possible overture by European leaders in support of the Greek government rose on Friday after French President Francois Hollande said he would work together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to ensure that “things do not get more complicated for Greece.”

In a statement at a European Union leaders’ summit in Brussels, Hollande said that Greeks needed hope and not castigation. He also suggested that he and Merkel would make a joint overture to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, which constitute Greece’s so-called troika of creditors along with the European Commission, to ensure that the country does not face further complications. He did not elaborate on this phrase but added that Greeks would have the right to hope if the authorities continue with the necessary economic reforms.

As regards the burgeoning political upheaval in Greece, Hollande said it was not comparable to the position the country was in two-and-a-half years ago “when some people were wondering whether the country should remain in the euro zone.” That was no longer an issue for debate, he said.

Speaking from Brussels on Thursday, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said Greece had made “a spectacular comeback… due to an unprecedented sacrifice of all the Greek people.” “I am not going to allow – and the political system in Greece is not going to allow – anyone to gamble with these sacrifices, to gamble with these accomplishments. Therefore, I believe that political uncertainty in Greece will soon be resolved,” he said.