Merkel, Hollande Open to Stimulus

German, French leaders say they will consider measures to spur Greek growth if voters commit to austerity.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said they would consider measures to spur economic growth in Greece as long as voters there committed to the austerity demanded to stay in the euro.

Requests for measures to bolster growth will be “considered” and the European Union may also “approach Greece with proposals,” Merkel said late yesterday at a joint press conference with Hollande during his first official visit to Berlin. “Greece can stay in the euro area,” and “Greek citizens will be voting on exactly that.”

Greek ‘Challenges’

Merkel said there was an agreed bailout program between Greece and its creditors that “has to be adhered to.” At the same time, she said she had called New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, who won the May 6 vote, and caretaker Prime Minister Lucas Papademos to say “that we are prepared to help Greece overcome its structural challenges, to help with growth.”

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