Stick to austerity, Brussels warns Athens

The EU issued Monday a stern warning to Greece that its place in the eurozone is at risk if new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras fails to meet the country’s austerity and debt commitments.

From Brussels to Berlin, officials said they were ready to talk to the new government led by Mr. Tsipras’ radical left party Syriza, but insisted that Athens must stick to prior agreements with its international creditors.

Eurozone Finance Ministers were meeting in Brussels a day after Syriza stormed to victory in elections on the back of Mr. Tsipras’ promises to end “disastrous austerity” and seek a cancellation of Greek debt.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman took a similar line on what Europe expected.

“In our view it is important for the new government to take action to foster Greece’s continued economic recovery,” spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters. “That also means Greece sticking to its previous commitments.”

Mr. Tsipras is set to meet other European leaders for the first time as Prime Minister at a summit on February 12, when Greece’s fate in the euro and unsustainable debt levels are sure to be key issues. — AFP

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