Barroso: Greece must remain part of European family

Barroso: Greece must remain part of European family

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said the EU wants Greece to remain part of the European family.

However he said the ultimate resolve to stay in the Euro area must come from Greece itself.

The Greeks will return to the polls on June 17 after the latest round of talks involving the political parties failed to agree a governing coalition, following the May 6 general election.

Mr Barroso said the Commission wants to stand by Greece but its up to the Greek people to say if they want to work with the euro area member states and the European Institutions.

"Greece is part of our family," Mr Barroso said.

"Greece is a very important Member State in the European Union.

"We want Greece to remain a part of our European family, of the European Union and of the euro.

"The Commission has been working tirelessly to that end. It will continue to do so. This being said, the ultimate resolve to stay in the euro area must come from Greece itself.

"We are fully aware that the present situation is asking a lot of the Greek people, with many sacrifices. But this is a result of policies made in the past."

Mr Barroso said the current bailout programme for Greece "is the least difficult of all the difficult alternatives".

"The problems it addresses are real," he added.

"This is why the commitments taken by Greece and all the euro area Member States should be kept.

"Not because the European Union or the euro area wishes it like that, but because there is no other alternative that has less pain and less difficulties.

"The programme offers solidarity in exchange for reforms. Support in exchange for reform. Access to finance that would not exist under any other circumstance," he said.

"The reality is that there is no easier way.

"Any other way out would be even more painful for the most vulnerable people and also for the majority of Greek citizens."

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