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Merkel refuses Greece more time on bailout

Friday, August 24, 2012 - 02:04

Aug. 24 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel reassured Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras that she wants Athens to stay in the euro during talks in Berlin, but gave no sign of fulfilling Greece's request for more time to meet the terms of its bailout. Joel Flynn reports

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It was hardly the warmest of greetings. The mood matched the weather as Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras arrived in Berlin on Friday for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He's trying to negotiate more time for Greece to meet its bailout conditions. (SOUNDBITE) Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, saying (English): "We're not asking for more money. We're asking for breaths of air in this dive we are taking." Samaras says Greece can stay afloat if the next aid payment comes after October. He says without it, the country will go bankrupt. He's also has gone as far as to personally guarantee Greece's creditors would get their money back. But Merkel is not budging from the original terms of the bailout. She said no decisions will be made until a report next month from Greece's international lenders. (SOUNDBITE) German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, saying (German): "On the other hand, fulfilling expectations also means that Greece can quite rightly expect from Germany that we will not make premature judgements, but rather we will await reliable evidence, which for me means the troika report." Samaras is under pressure at home to extend the deadline on the debt repayments. And with an election for Merkel on the horizon next year, analysts say there are questions over where the euro zone ends up. Andreas Lipkow is from MWB Fairtrade Bond Trade Bank. (SOUNDBITE) MWB Fairtrade Bond Trade Bank Trader, Andreas Lipkow, saying (German): "It is clear that both political leaders will express their commitment to the euro and the European idea. But the remarks of the Greek prime minister are looked upon fairly suspiciously, especially from German Finance Minister Schaeuble. But on the other hand we see that the interest in the European idea is there." Samaras is due to meet Francois Hollande on Saturday. Analysts say Hollande might be more sympathetic to Greece given his own deficit worries and his calls to stimulate growth. Greeks will be watching closely. Joel Flynn, Reuters

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Merkel refuses Greece more time on bailout

Friday, August 24, 2012 - 02:04