‘We are not asking for more money, we are looking for growth’ – Greek PM
Merkel and Samaras have met in Berlin to discuss Greece’s struggle to implement previously agreed austerity reforms according to schedule.
“We are not asking for more money, we are looking for growth,” the Greek PM told a news conference after the meeting. “We are a proud people and we do not like living off borrowed money. We have resources and we will try to make use of them,” he said.
Greece is currently trying to finalize a package of 11.5bn euro ($14.4bn; £9.1bn) of spending cuts over the next two years.
The German Chancellor said Friday’s discussion was "a good beginning", but there is still more to do. Merkel wants Greece to stay in the common currency despite the repeated failure of Athens to meet reform targets under its two multi-billion euro bailout packages. Merkel said that the meeting strengthened her conviction that the Greek government is doing its utmost to meet Troika's requirements.
“I have understood there are significant steps being taken in by Greece. There is no point in dwelling on the past we have to focus on today so we can have a better tomorrow. We will do whatever we can to meet the expectations of the Greeks and the Germans,” Merkel said at the news conference.
Chancellor Merkel also stressed that Germany wanted to wait for the new Troika report before making any decision on the conditions of the bailout deal, adding that Germany will not make any "premature judgements".
The "troika" of donor bodies monitoring the bailout – the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission – are due in Athens in September. Greece's continued access to the bailout packages depends on a favorable report from the trio.
Patrick Young, executive director at DV Advisors told RT that the German Chancellor “will have to do something radical that she hasn’t done before in the EU crisis”.
“Greece is bankrupt. Full stop. Game over. Mrs. Merkel must agree she has to eject Greece from the Euro because tragically it’s the only humane solution for everybody involved,” Young said.
On Saturday PM Samaras will travel to France for talks with President Francois Hollande.Greece is to receive the latest tranche of around 31.5 billion euros in international loans.
In exchange for its bailout package, Athens needs to reduce Greece's national budget deficit to less than three percent of the country's GDP by 2014. In 2011, the budget deficit was 9.3 percent of GDP.
The 11.5 billion euros in budget cuts are expected to hit pensions, social benefits, public sector wages and health care. Some 40,000 civil servants are also expected to lose their jobs.