EU, IMF vow support to new Greek government
(LOS CABOS) - The International Monetary Fund and the European Union pledged support to the next Greek government on Sunday after parties that supported an IMF and EU-led bailout won a pivotal election.
European Union leaders urged the conservative New Democracy party and its likely coalition partner, the socialist Pasok party, to urgently form a new administration that can lead Greece out of its debt crisis.
"We are hopeful that the election results will allow a government to be formed quickly," said the presidents of the European Council and the chairman of the European Commission, Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso.
"We will continue to stand by Greece as a member of the EU family and of the euro area," they added, in a statement issued in the Mexican town of Los Cabos on the eve of the G20 summit of the world's leading economic powers.
"We look forward to working with the new government and to support the continued efforts of Greece to put its economy on a sustainable path," it said.
Antonis Samaras, leader of New Democracy, has pledged to honor Greece's commitments but says he wants to ease the terms of the multi-billion-dollar EU-IMF rescue package that has imposed harsh austerity on many Greeks.
Samaras's main rival Alexis Tsipras, head of the leftist anti-austerity party Syriza, conceded defeat after the knife-edge elections on Sunday and ruled out joining any coalition.
A short statement from the International Monetary Fund indicated that after the loss of Syriza, it will set about a renegotiation of Greece's 130-billion-euro ($165 billion) bailout program.
"We take note of the election results in Greece and stand ready to engage with the new government on the way forward to help Greece achieve its objective of restoring financial stability, economic growth and jobs," it said.
The IMF is pressing for urgent talks with Greece in the coming days and the Eurogroup of European finance ministers in Brussels has urged parties to move "rapidly" to set up a new government that would implement key reforms.
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