BBCnews:Greece ‘integral’ to the eurozone, say European leaders

The leaders of Greece, France and Germany have said that Greece is an «integral» part of the eurozone.

It follows a telephone call between Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Greece also reiterated that it is determined to meet all the deficit reductions plans it agreed to in exchange for its two bailouts.

Concerns continue that Greece will default on its debt.

The comments are aimed at calming markets that have seen turbulent trading in recent weeks over fears surrounding Greece’s finances.

This has also increased speculation that Greece may have to leave the 17-nation single currency region.

Greek government spokesman Elias Mossialos said: «In the face of the extensive rumours of the last few days, it was stressed by all that Greece is an integral part of the eurozone.»

In Germany, a spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said that both she and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had stressed that Greece must stick to its deficit reduction targets.

«This is the precondition for the payment of future tranches of the [bailout] program,» he said.

The German government spokesman added that: «The success of Greece’s adjustment will strengthen the stability of the eurozone.»