Greek PM to meet Merkel, Obama amid debt crisis

Greece's prime minister announced plans to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel next week as signs grow that diplomatic efforts are under way to resolve Greece's debt crisis.

Prime Minister George Papandreou, who is also due to meet US President Barack Obama on March 9 in Washington, told parliament on Friday that he expected help from Greece's European Union partners, for which German backing would be vital.

Obama held a call with Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Friday in which they discussed the Greek debt crisis, among other issues, the White House said.

Papandreou also met Deutsche Bank's CEO Josef Ackermann, although an Athens Government spokesman denied Greek press reports the German bank was considering buying €15 billion (Dh75bn) in Greek bonds.

Greece wants to restore investors' confidence in its economic statistics and reassure buyers its debt is manageable after revealing that the previous government understated the budget deficit by half. The EU has offered political support but no bailout.

"We must do whatever we can now to address the immediate dangers today. Tomorrow it will be too late and the consequences will be more dire," said Papandreou. "We ask the EU for its solidarity and they ask us to meet our obligations.

 

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