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Germany To Help Greece Regain Investor Confidence


Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in Berlin today

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in Berlin today

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany will do what it can to help Greece regain markets' confidence.

Merkel, speaking at a German industrialists' meeting also attended by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, said she has "absolute respect" for structural reforms pushed through by Athens.

However, Merkel added that Germany is "not available" for further economic stimulus programs to boost demand.

"We will provide all the help desired from the German side so that Greece regains trust, that we can get out of the frightening development of receiving bad news every month, but to tell the markets that Greece is on the right path and whatever Germany can do to support it, it will do," Merkel said. "Be it through the private sector or political and administrative measures, in terms of our friendship, our partnership, and not in terms of forcing results."

Papandreou in turn told German businesspeople that his country has "great potential" and called on them to invest in Greece.

"The persistent criticisms leveled against Greece are deeply frustrating -- frustrating not only at the political level, where a superhuman effort is being made to meet stringent targets in a deepening recession -- but frustrating also for the Greeks who are making these painful sacrifices and difficult changes," he said.

Merkel and Papandreou held talks later in the day.

The meeting comes two days ahead of a crucial vote in the German parliament to expand the eurozone bailout fund.

compiled from agency reports
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