24 May 2012

EU wants Greece to stay - Van Rompuy

11:18 pm on 24 May 2012

European Union leaders want Greece to remain in the eurozone but to "respect its commitments", European Council President Herman Van Rompuy says.

Mr Van Rompuy, speaking at an informal EU summit, says continuing "vital reforms" are essential for Greece to overcome its economic problems.

The BBC reports the eurozone crisis has overshadowed the talks, amid fears that Greece may have to exit the single currency.

Mr Van Rompuy told a news conference in Brussels the EU was fully aware of the significant efforts already made by the Greek citizens.

"The eurozone has shown considerable solidarity having already disbursed, together with the IMF nearly 150 billion euros in support of Greece since 2010.

Mr Van Rompuy says the EU will take action to return Greece to economic growth and job creation, but continuing vital reforms are the best guarantee for a more prosperous future in the euro area.

He says the EU expects that after the elections the new Greek government will make that choice.

European stock markets fell about 2% amid anxiety that Greece might have to exit the euro on Wednesday.