German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande assured Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that Greece will remain in the Schengen zone at least until March 6 when the next European Union extraordinary summit is scheduled.
The two state leaders met with Tsipras on the sidelines of the EU summit on the refugee issue and the discussion on Britain’s stay in the EU.
According to a Greek government source, the prime minister reiterated that Greece will not accept decisions against it since it is the only country that has fulfilled all its obligations regarding migrants. He also said that Greece has shouldered most of the weight of the refugee inflow and will not accept unilateral decisions.
The three state leaders agreed that Turkey is the key to stemming the refugee inflow to Europe, along with the NATO ship patrols in the Aegean Sea. Merkel and Hollande assured Tsipras that their countries will offer Greece all the help it needs to tackle the problem.
The Greek government is satisfied by the fact that Germany, France, Italy, Bulgaria and the European Commission strongly support the notion that it is imperative Turkey fulfills its obligations.
Regarding the evaluation of the bailout program progress, Merkel and Hollande agreed that it is important creditors’ representatives return to Athens as soon as possible to complete the review of Greece’s bailout program. Both pledged that they will take initiatives to that direction.
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