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WASHINGTON, DC – Greece was on the agenda of a telephone conversation that focused on Ukraine between President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on March 18.

According to a White House release, the two leaders discussed the aftermath of the election of Alexis Tsipras and the SYRIZA party and its impact on Greece-EU relations.

Among the key points in the release is that the U.S. and Germany look forward to a “pragmatic agreement,” suggesting the goal of a combination of Greek progress on reforms and troika easing of conditions and pro-growth assistance.

The word “pragmatic” may also hint at a shift in emphasis to reforms Tsipras can actually implement as opposed to European and IMF desiderata that the coalition government cannot deliver.

The phrase “return the country to growth within the euro area” indicates that keeping Greece in the eurozone remains a goal.

The full text of the White House readout follows:

The President spoke today with Chancellor Merkel of Germany regarding developments in Ukraine.  The two leaders agreed on the need for full and prompt implementation of the three Minsk agreements in order to reach a lasting and peaceful resolution to the conflict.  They reiterated their agreement that there will be no easing of sanctions imposed on Russia until it has fulfilled all of its Minsk commitments.  The President and the Chancellor also agreed on the continued importance of providing economic support for Ukraine as it implements necessary reforms.  They also reviewed recent developments in Greece and efforts to reach a pragmatic agreement that builds upon recent reforms to return the country to growth within the euro area

Source: The National Herald
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