June 8, 2015 / 6:45 PM / 5 years ago

Juncker says waiting for Greece to 'build its part of bridge'

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker addresses an economic seminar organised by the European Political Strategy Centre in Brussels, Belgium, June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

KRUEN, Germany (Reuters) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told German television network ARD on Monday that he was waiting for Greece to make its contributions to help the European Union resolve the eurozone crisis.

“I’ve always tried to be respectful with Greece,” Juncker said in an interview on the fringes of the G7 summit when asked if he had lost patience with Greece after a report he declined to take a call from Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

“What’s at stake isn’t, as some think, how to deal with the Greek government. What’s at stake is the interests of the Greek people. And a lot of Greeks aren’t doing well because of the (austerity) programs.

“So I’ve always tried to build bridges. But I’m still waiting for Greece to build its part of the bridge.”

When asked what will happen if Greece failed to build “its part” of the bridge, he said: “Then there won’t be a bridge. The EU or the Eurogroup can’t build an never-ending bridge.”

Juncker declined on Saturday to take a phone call from Tsipras because Athens has not yet sent in reform proposals that it promised for Thursday, an EU official said on Saturday. A Greek government official denied the report.

Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum

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