US, French presidents discuss Greek crisis on phone

Washington, July 7 (IANS) US President Barack Obama and his French counterpart, Francois Hollande, have discussed the Greek crisis on the telephone, Efe news agency reported.

They agreed to “finding a path forward that will allow Greece to resume reforms and return to growth”.

The White House said in a statement that both Obama and Hollande agreed on Monday it “will require difficult compromises by all parties” to return Greece to a path of growth and sustainable debt within the eurozone.

Both leaders said their teams were in close contact and were monitoring economic developments in Greece as well as broader financial markets.

The US on Monday reiterated that the needs of the Greek economy remained the same, post Sunday’s referendum, and urged a “compromise” between Athens and international creditors to reach a package of reforms and funding.

“The referendum is over, but our view here at the White House remains the same,” White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said in his daily press conference

He added the path towards finding a financial solution must be done “in a way that would allow Greece to remain part of the eurozone”.

In the first declarations of the US government, following the Greeks voting a resolute “No” in the referendum on Sunday against austerity proposed by international creditors, Earnest said although US believed it was in the interest of all parties to reach an agreement, it was ultimately “a European challenge to solve”.

In recent weeks, Washington has told European leaders, the package of structural reforms must be accompanied by debt relief, something countries like Germany and the Netherlands have been wary of.

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