EU calls on Greece’s new leaders to stick to austerity

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EU calls on Greece’s new leaders to stick to austerity

Officials in the European Union have warned Greece’s new leaders that they must stick to the country’s previous financial commitments.

A spokesman for German chancellor Angela Merkel ON Monday took a tough line at Greece’s new leaders, urging them to make efforts to improve the country’s economic situation.

“In our view it is important for the new government to take action to foster Greece’s continued economic recovery,” Steffen Seibert told reporters.

Merkel, who is seen as the paymaster of eurozone bailout packages, had previously warned that the new government in Athens must honor the country’s international agreements.

“That also means Greece sticking to its previous commitments,” Merkel’s spokesman said.

Greece’s radical leftist party, Syriza, which stormed to victory in the country’s general election on Monday, has warned that it will start a renegotiation of the country’s debts with officials in the European Union. A member of the eurozone block, Greece has accumulated massive debts in exchange for a colossal 240-billion-euro (USD 269 billion) bailout granted by the EU and the International Monetary Fund.

Syriza leader, Alexis Tsipras, vowed during his election campaign that renegotiating Greece’s debt would be one of his main priorities in the coming months.

However, President of the Eurozone’s Finance Ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem has denied that the body would accept any such compromise, saying that Athens must first honor its previous agreements if it wants any flexibility from Brussels.

“Membership of the eurozone means that you comply with everything you have agreed with,” Dijsselbloem said after arriving in the Belgian capital for a meeting of eurozone finance ministers.

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Niamh Harris
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