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Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Mr Panagiotis Pikrammenos, interim Prime Minister of Greece

I have just met with the interim Prime Minister of Greece, Mr Panagiotis Pikrammenos. His government has a clearly defined yet vital role to play in the coming weeks.

I reiterated the Commission’s strong desire that Greece should remain a member of the euro area and that we will continue to do everything in our power for this to happen.

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. I therefore underlined the importance of Greece maintaining the commitments it has made.

The Greek people have made huge sacrifices. I wish there were an easier way out of the crisis Greece is facing. The fact is that the least difficult way is the full implementation of the second programme agreed by Greece and its international partners. This is the quickest way for Greece to return to growth and job creation and we stand ready to help the Greek people on this path.