Solution to Greece crisis possible ‘very quickly,’ French PM says

France’s prime minister said Thursday he believed that Greece’s request for a six-month extension to its EU loan programme showed the crisis can be solved “very quickly.”

“I take the recent declarations and decisions of the Greek prime minister, in his letter to Europe, as a very encouraging sign that a solution is possible and very quickly,” Manuel Valls told parliament.

France will keep pushing for Greece «to keep its place in Europe which welcomed it when it left dictatorship,” Valls said.

“You have to respect the choices of the Greek people — I tell all the other Europeans this — but the new Greek government has to engage fully and sustainably in this Europe and the euro which Greece needs so much,” added Valls.

Earlier Thursday, Germany rejected a request by Athens for a six-month extension to its EU loan programme, denting hopes that Europe and Greece can find a quick solution to a bitter debt row. [AFP]