Merkel says Greece entering new era, reforms must continue


German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (not pictured) hold a joint news conference at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece, January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

ATHENS (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel commended Greece on Thursday for entering “a new era” after its bailout exit in August, but said it must continue pushing ahead with reforms.

“I’m particularly happy to see that the situation has changed so much, unemployment has fallen, Greece was able to complete the period of (bailout) programmes,” Merkel said after meeting Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens, in her first visit to the country in five years.

“Of course it is not the end, if you will, of a period of reforms, but the beginning of a new situation,” Merkel said, speaking through an interpreter.

Reporting by Michele Kambas; Writing by Karolina Tagaris

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