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Merkel and Hollande urge speedy Greece deal

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Merkel and Hollande urge speedy Greece deal
Photo: DPA
15:24 CEST+02:00
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday urged speedy efforts for debt-hit Greece to reach a deal with its international creditors.

"We must accelerate it because the deadline is approaching," said Hollande during a Berlin visit as Greece's bailout programme expires at the end of June.

Merkel agreed that "the talks should be accelerated" and called for "significant progress" in Athens's negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank.

Greece's radical Syriza-led government and its EU-IMF creditors have been stuck in a deadlock for four months over the reforms needed to release a final 7.2 billion euros ($8.2 billion) in bailout funds.

Merkel said that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras would be among European leaders at a summit in Riga later this week and that "we'll see if opportunities for discussion emerge".

Holland also said "we will have the opportunity to talk to Mr Tspiras" in Riga, without specifying who would join the talks.

He stressed that "we want Greece to remain in the eurozone and to find a lasting solution". 

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