Germany's Merkel praises Greece, wants joint European response to Putin letter

ATHENS Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:49pm EDT

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a forum with Greek startup business people in Athens April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a forum with Greek startup business people in Athens April 11, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis

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ATHENS (Reuters) - Germany will continue to back Greece, whose reforms are paying off but still has a long way to go to overhaul its economy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Athens on Friday.

Asked to comment on a letter by Russian Premier Vladimir Putin to 18 European leaders, about the flows of natural gas from Russia to the Ukraine, Merkel said Europe needed to consult and deliver a joint response.

"There is good reason to take this letter as an opportunity to deliver a joint European response," Merkel said, adding the issue will be discussed in a meeting by European Union foreign ministers on Monday.

(Reporting By Karolina Tagaris, Writing by Costas Pitas)

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