France wants the euro zone to push for a deal with Greece before Sunday's referendum, President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday, in comments that differed sharply from those of German leaders. "(A deal) must be found before the referendum, it wouldn't have much sense afterwards," Hollande said. "It is our duty to keep Greece in the euro zone.
One by one, leading figures in the German government made their way to the podium in the sun-drenched chamber of the Bundestag on Wednesday and accused Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of betraying his own people. A day after Greece became the first advanced country to default to the International Monetary Fund, frustration in Berlin bubbled over, with politicians openly questioning whether they could negotiate in good faith with Tsipras if he survives a Greek referendum he has called for Sunday. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, whose tough line in aid talks with Athens has turned him into a hate-figure in Greece, had the harshest words for the Tsipras government, accusing it of dramatically worsening the situation in the country, and saying repeatedly "I feel sorry for the Greeks".
BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that her personal relationship with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had not been damaged by the standoff with his government over an aid-for-reforms deal.