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White House congratulates Greece on elections, urges coalition

June 17, 2012|By Kathleen Hennessey
  • Leader of the New Democracy conservative party Antonis Samaras speaks at a press conference in Athens.
Leader of the New Democracy conservative party Antonis Samaras speaks… (Milos Bicanski / Getty Images )

The White House issued a statement Sunday congratulating Greece on its elections and urging new leaders to form a coalition in time to stave off further economic turmoil.

"We hope this election will lead quickly to the formation of a new government that can make timely progress on the economic challenges facing the Greek people," Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement issued shortly after the pro-Europe New Democracy party claimed victory.

The win was expected to be welcome news for foreign leaders who have been pushing Greeks to vote to remain in the Eurozone.

Carney reiterated Obama's support for that view, saying "we believe that it is in all our interests for Greece to remain in the euro area while respecting its commitment to reform."

Obama is headed to Mexico later Sunday for the G20 Summit, a meeting certain to be dominated by debate over Europe's next step. The White House has been urging European leaders to take bolder more aggressive action to try to restore market confidence in the euro.

"Going forward, we will engage Greece in the spirit of partnership that has guided our alliance and the friendship between our people, Carney said.

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kathleen.hennessey@latimes.com

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