In a message addressed to Greeks on Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the benefits of strict adherence to the EU-IMF economic stabilisation programme for Greece.
In a press conference for foreign correspondents, Merkel acknowledged the "brave efforts" made by the Greek government so far but emphasised the need to carry out the programme and the privatisations agreed.
"We are aware that this is not an easy road," she said in a message to Greeks, while stressing her belief that the country would emerge stronger at the end.

Replying to an ANA-MPA question, Merkel said that Greece was not "at the same place as a year ago" and noted that there had been a great many reforms and brave steps by the Greek government.

"The municipal elections showed that the majority of Greeks support the government. We knew clearly that this will be a difficult road and that it will not last just a few months," she said.

She pointed to the decisions of the European Council last March to reduce the interest rate "in exchange" for the Greek government's promise to carry out a privatisation programme amounting to 50 billion euro.

Distancing herself from the rampant speculation in recent days that a Greek default was imminent, the German chancellor stressed that she would wait until the report of EU-IMF inspectors provided specific figures before stating a position or deciding "whether anything needs to be done".

"We are not doing Greece any good by speculating wildly and I do not mean journalists, I speak as a politician," Merkel emphasised. "It is neither for the good of Greece nor for the good of Europe," she stressed.

While giving assurances of Germany's solidarity on a Eurozone level, she noted that Greece's "willingness to return to the right path" was a condition for this solidarity. Merkel stressed the need to "rebuild the foundations correctly" in order to get out of difficulties and not simply show solidarity without any changes taking place in Greece.

"We have a vital interest in having all European countries on the right economic path," she added.
The Chancellor is due to meet European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Berlin on Wednesday and the head of the European Council Herman van Rompuy on Thursday.