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German FinMin urges Greek opposition to back reforms


15:50, January 15, 2013

BERLIN, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Monday urged visiting Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras to support austerity measures and economic reforms.

Schaeuble told Tsipras, a critic of the German-backed austerity measures, that there was no alternative to the implementation of the economic adjustment program and urged him to support the reforms carried out by the current Greek government led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, according to local news reports quoting a finance ministry source.

A ministry spokeswoman said earlier that Schaeuble believed the success of the Greek reform was important and "should be supported by all political forces," adding that Tsipras requested the meeting with Schaeuble.

Tsipras heads Greece's main opposition radical left SYRIZA coalition, which is performing well in Greek public opinion polls. He told Deutsche Welle in an interview on Sunday that the austerity measures are crushing the Greek economy and hurting workers, urging international lenders to revise the harsh terms put on Greece in return for bailouts.

Enduring five years of recession, Greece was asked to make tough austerity reforms in exchange for bailout from its international creditors.

The German government insists on Athens' commitment to austerity and reform measures, but both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Schaeuble have said they wanted Greece to remain in the eurozone.

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