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Angela Merkel vows to help Greece stay in Eurozone

Angela Merkel did not say if she would allow Greece more time to meet its bailout conditions.

Eurozone grexit crisis 2012 8 22Enlarge
A euro coin stands on a map of Greece. Many fear that a Grexit from the Eurozone would worsen the crisis. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Angela Merkel stood with Greece on Friday, pledging to keep the struggling country in the Eurozone despite critics calling for the nation to leave the euro.

"I want to say very clearly that Greece is part of the Eurozone and I want Greece to remain part of the Eurozone. This guides all our discussions," the German Chancellor said at a joint news conference with Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras, the Telegraph reported.

"I am deeply convinced that the new Greek government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Samaras, is doing everything to solve the problems that Greece is facing," she continued. 

Merkel's comments are the most forward attempt so far to rekindle the relationship between two of the main players in the Eurozone, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

They also signal to members of Merkel's German coalition who have called for Greece to be removed from the 17-nation economic bloc that the floundering economy is not going anywhere anytime soon. 

More from GlobalPost: What the prime minister of Greece means when he says a euro zone exit would be 'catastrophic'

Samaras, who took leadership of Greece at the end of June, has asked for more time to reach the required goals for the country's bailout, the Economic Times reported

"We're not asking for more money. We're asking for breaths of air in this dive we are taking," Samaras said at the joint news conference with Merkel in Berlin. 

Samaras did not give specifics on how much more time Greece needed to meet the targets, the New York Times reported.

However, the former economist said he remained confident that the upcoming progress report from the troika (comprised of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund) would show that Athens is making positive progress.

That report is due in September, and will be the foundation for discussions at a European Union meeting scheduled for Oct. 18-19 about Greece's future. 

More from GlobalPost: Report: Obama is pressuring EU to prevent a Greek exit until after the US elections

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/debt-crisis/120825/angela-merkel-greece-stay-euro-zone