German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared to soften her stand on Greece Wednesday night, saying she was ready to discuss stimulus programs to get the Greek economy growing again and that she was committed to keeping Greece in the euro zone, The New York Times reported.
“I have the will, the determination to keep Greece in the euro zone,” she said in an interview on CNBC on Wednesday, in what appeared to be an attempt to relax an increasingly tense situation.
If Greek officials are looking for “stimulus to be pursued for growth in the euro zone, which we could pursue in the interest of Greece, we’re open for this,” Merkel said. “Germany is open for this.”
Merkel is preparing to head to Camp David in Maryland for the Group of 8 meeting beginning on Friday, and she is likely to be pressed there by the other leaders, in particular by President Barack Obama, to find a way to quell the turmoil. On Tuesday night she met for the first time with France’s newly inaugurated president, François Hollande, who campaigned on the need for more growth-promoting policies.
In recent days Merkel has signaled more receptiveness to additional growth measures as long as they do not interfere with the fiscal compact to cut deficits in the euro zone in the long run.