PM: EU leaders want Greece in euro

Caretaker Prime Minister Panayiotis Pikrammenos emphasized in comments to President Karolos Papoulias on Friday that European leaders were keen to keep Greece in the eurozone but only if Athens honors its financial commitments to foreign creditors.

In a televised exchange between the two men ahead of their meeting, Pikrammenos suggested that speculation had distorted the positive disposition toward Greece of EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Contrary to the idle talk of recent days and to media reports, all our European partners want our country to remain in the eurozone,» Pikrammenos told the president. «This is the reason, after all, that we discussed specific measures that will help our country boost growth and curb unemployment,» the premier said, referring to his talks with EU leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Pikrammenos repeated his assertion, expressed at a press conference in Brussels on Thursday, that Greece’s position in the eurozone was regarded as «self-evident» but equally self-evident was the assumption that Greece would meet its obligations to creditors.