Greece?s premier embarked Wednesday on a diplomatic push to earn his nation more time to complete reforms and retain access to bailout loans, but a top European official said that any decision will depend on a report by international debt inspectors next month.
Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs meetings of eurozone finance ministers and is also Luxembourg’s prime minister, insisted Greece must remain within the euro. Its exit from the currency used by 17 European Union countries would hurt both to the country and the wider continent.
“I?m totally opposed to the exit of Greece from the eurozone,» he said after a meeting in Athens with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras.
The meeting is the first of several Samaras will hold this week with European leaders to press the case for granting Athens more time to complete its reforms. He will be in Berlin on Friday to speak with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and in Paris on Saturday with French President Francois Hollande.
Juncker said that any lengthening of the adjustment period «will depend on the finding of the troika mission.”