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France and Germany Promise to Help Greece

France and Germany have promised “additional growth measures” to ensure Greece remains within the euro zone. On his inaugural visit to Berlin, French president François Hollande said he felt a “responsibility” to offer a “sign” of hope to Greek voters, as the euro fell to a four-month low on the collapse of talks in Athens. “The Greeks should know that, through growth measures and supporting economic activities, we will move in their direction to ensure they stay in the euro zone,” said Mr Hollande after talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The German leader insisted the agreed reforms could not be altered but she too offered the prospect of unspecified growth measures.

“It is my expectation and wish that Greece can remain in the euro,” she said. “We stand ready, whenever Greece wants. Additional measures for growth can be analysed, if and when requested.” Following rained-out festivities in Paris, Mr Hollande arrived 75 minutes late for his inaugural visit to Berlin after his aircraft was struck by lightning. After just hours in office, Mr Hollande was confronted with the first real test of his promised growth agenda: the announcement of fresh elections in Greece after a nine-day political deadlock failed to produce a new government.

Source: Irish Times
Friday, May 18, 2012