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A new start for Greece and Germany?

Monday, March 23, 2015 - 01:45

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he hopes for a new start to the relationship with Germany after talks with Angela Merkel. As Sonia Legg reports he urged an end to mutual stereotyping of lazy Greeks being victimised by ''Nazi'' Germans.

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Side by side after face to face talks. The German Chancellor and the Greek Prime Minister were together - at least in front of the cameras. SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL SAYING: "We want Greece to be strong economically, have growth and reduce high unemployment, especially the extremely high youth unemployment. For that structural reforms are necessary, a solid budget is necessary, a functioning administration is necessary - that is the common understanding between the two of us." There hasn't been much common understanding in recent weeks. Relations between both countries have been strained. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK PRIME MINISTER ALEXIS TSIPRAS SAYING: "This meeting was very important for us to understand each other better. There is no other way but dialogue." Then came the reassurance. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK PRIME MINISTER ALEXIS TSIPRAS SAYING: "We do not want to destroy the achievements of the last five years. We do need to implement big structural reforms which previous governments have not achieved, tax reforms, and a fight against corruption and tax dodging." It was a full military honours welcome for Alexis Tspiras. And both leaders have a common goal - keeping Greece in the euro. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL SAYING: "All in all, for both of us it is important that we have a cooperation based on trust. We must also be able to address difficult issues. Issues we have different views on. But the spirit of our cooperation is there: both countries want to cooperate, both countries are part of the European Union, member states of NATO." But there are far more differences than similarities. And Merkel alone is not the decision maker. Tsipras needs to convince euro finance ministers Greece is serious about reform before he will get vital bailout cash.

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A new start for Greece and Germany?

Monday, March 23, 2015 - 01:45