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    Europe Should Be Flexible With Greece – Barroso

    Alexei Druzhinin
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    Ex-president of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said in an interview that Europe has to be more flexible with Greece that is currently facing austerity reforms in exchange for the extension of its bailout program.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Greece will receive the backing of other EU member states if the debt-ridden country pushes for reforms to help revive its economy, former President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said Monday.

    "I believe we should be flexible with Greece, but Greece has to respect the need to pursue with reforms, to be competitive, and if that's the case, I have no doubt that all the other governments in Europe want to support Greece," Barroso said as quoted by the CNBC news channel.

    In February, Greece and Eurozone finance ministers agreed to extend Greek bailout for four months in exchange for a promise to implement a list of austerity reforms.

    Barroso also urged Athens to respect the Greek people, most of whom "want to remain in the euro area."

    Last week, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said his government would not be able to repay the debt in the coming weeks without financial help from the European Union.

    Greece's debt to the troika of creditors comprising the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund stands at about $270 billion.

    In January, Tsipras' Syriza party said it would abandon austerity obligations agreed to by the previous Greek government, raising concerns that Greece could leave Eurozone. The Prime Minister is due to discuss the debt issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later on Monday.


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