Merkel’s Greek Visit Sends Signal

German chancellor’s trip to Athens points to her support for keeping Greece in eurozone.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Athens for the first time since Europe’s financial crisis broke out there three years ago, a sign she’s seeking to silence the debate on pushing Greece out of the euro.

Merkel’s visit to the Greek capital Oct. 9 to meet with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras underscores the shift in her stance since she held out the prospect last year of Greece exiting the 17-nation currency region.

2011 Message

That contrasts with a threat she delivered in November 2011, when former Prime Minister George Papandreou proposed a referendum on austerity measures. She said the ballot, subsequently rescinded, “will revolve around nothing less than the question: does Greece want to stay in the euro, yes or no.”

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