European Commission President Jose Barroso met with Greek interim Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos on Wednesday, and reiterated the Commission's strong desire that Greece should remain a member of the euro area and that it will continue to do everything in its power for this to happen.
In a statement issued after his meting with the interim Premier, Barroso said he told Pikrammenos that his government had a clearly defined yet vital role to play in the coming weeks.
"The euro area has shown unprecedented solidarity to Greece and its people. It has made a commitment to maintain financial support for Greece as long as is necessary, assuming Greece maintains its commitment to implement the structural reforms that are essential for a return to growth. Without this solidarity, Greece will not be able to return to growth and prosperity," the statement added.
Barroso said he underlined the importance of Greece maintaining the commitments it had made.
He noted that the Greek people have made huge sacrifices, and wished if there were an easier way out of the crisis Greece is facing. But the fact is that the least difficult way is the full implementation of the second bail-out program agreed by Greece and its international creditors, according to the head of EU's executive arm.
Barroso made it clear that it is the quickest way for Greece to return to growth and job creation and pledged the European Union's readiness to help the Greek people on this path.
Barroso's assurance comes a week after he told the United Nations General Assembly that the European Union will honor its commitments towards Greece in an effort to make sure it remains within the euro area, and in return, "we expect the Greek government - current and future - to fulfill the jointly agreed conditions for financial assistance."
A caretaker government headed by Pikrammenos will lead the country to fresh elections on June 17.
No parties were able to win clear majority in the May 6 parliamentary elections.
Greece was left with no option other than calling another election after talks between political parties to form a coalition government failed to reach agreement.
Recent polls suggest a new election could deliver an equally fragmented Parliament, with left-wing coalition Syriza, which opposes the government's austerity measures for securing a bailout, becoming the largest party.
Syriza wants to renegotiate the bailout package, a demand already rejected by Germany.
The election date is beyond the deadline for a new government to come to power if the debt-ridden country is to get the next installment of bailout fund from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
In such a scenario, chances are that Greece will fail to receive the loan amount, as the international lenders have warned that they will not discuss further aid disbursements until a new government is formed.
Greece faces the risk of exiting the eurozone if the country elects an anti-bailout government this time.
by RTT Staff Writer
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