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Merkel Expresses 'Respect' for Papandreou Stepping Down

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday expressed her “respect” during a phone call with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou for his decision to step down, her spokesman said.
“The chancellor, for her part, expressed her respect for the decision of the prime minister and, from her side, expressed thanks for the good cooperation,” Steffen Seibert told reporters at a regular press briefing.
“With courage and the ability to see measures through, he has put his country on the right path, and he had to overcome much resistance,” he said.
Papandreou had understood that Greece needed far-reaching structural reforms and austerity measures which was “an arduous path with hardships for millions of Greeks”, Seibert added.
“But it is also an unavoidable path,” he said.
Both Merkel and Papandreou agreed the transition government must now urgently oversee the complete implementation of all decisions taken by EU leaders in Cannes last month before early elections are held, Seibert said.
(source: AFP)

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