By Jo Adetunji, guardian.co.uk, 25 August 2012
The French president, François Hollande, has put more pressure on Greece to push ahead with painful reforms after a meeting with the Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras.
[....] Samaras has been seeking more time to pass reforms, arguing that an extension of up to two years would allow Greece time to improve growth and therefore its public finances.
But Hollande said no decision could be taken on the issue until European ministers have considered a financial report on Greece, which is due to be published by the International Monetary Fund, the European commission and the European Central Bank in September.
The report will be presented to a Eurogroup summit in October and Hollande said Europe needed to make decisions "the sooner the better". "We've been facing this question for two-and-a-half years; there's no time to lose, there are commitments to reaffirm on both sides, decisions to take, and the sooner the better," Hollande said.
Hollande's position echoes that of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who met Samaras in Berlin on Friday [....]