Luxembourg Prime Minister and Eurogroup Chairman Jean Claude Juncker gave a press conference in Athens following a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
reported Juncker said "I am coming to Greece as a friend," as he demanded European politicians quit the speculation that Greece may leave the eurozone.
"I oppose a Greek exit from the eurozone" but warned that the debt-ridden country is running out of time. He stated “The ball is in the Greek court. In fact, it is the last chance. Citizens must understand that.”
Juncker went on to clarify that no decision will be made regarding Greece's continuation in the eurozone until the Troika of international creditors, the EU, ECB, and IMF, report back in September.
As Digital Journal
reported Antonis Samaras intends to request a two-year breathing space to implement further cuts and reforms. However, Juncker refused to be drawn when asked if he would attempt to persuade Angela Merkel to accept a two-year extension to the bail-out memorandum.
Juncker said “The truth is Greece is suffering from a credibility crisis. The first step should be to show Greece is taking fiscal consolidation seriously.” He stressed though that the Greek people have made "enormous efforts" which often go unappreciated by Greece's critics.
Government opposition parties SYRIZA and KKE were critical of Juncker's "provocative" statements, To Vima
reported. They slammed the government plans to adopt further austerity measures to satisfy the Troika, saying it was "completely subservient to the interests of creditors."