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Germany’s Merkel Praises Greece, But Calls for Continuation of Reforms

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday praised Greece’s economic turnaround, but called the government to continue on the reform path.

“I’m particularly happy to see that the situation has changed so much, unemployment has fallen,” Ms. Merkel said after a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens. “Of course it is not the end of a period of reforms, but the beginning of a new situation.”

The crisis-battered country exited an 8-year long bailout era last August, but its economy still has a long way to heal.

During her visit in the Greek capital, the first in five years, Ms. Merkel said she expects Greece would be able to return to financial markets after it emerged from its multi-billion euro bailout program.

“Yes of course… all my work had this as its purpose: that Greece can stand on its own feet, it can successfully return to the markets,” Ms. Merkel said.

The German Chancellor also congratulated the Greek and the Macedonian government for reaching a deal on a decades-long dispute, which Europe and the U.S. consider important for the stability of the Balkan region.

Responding to a journalist’s question, she rejected speculation of a trade-off between Greek support for the accord and easing some austerity measures.

“There is no relation between the name deal and economic measures,” she said.
Source: Dow Jones

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