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Merkel says ready for new Greece talks 'after referendum'

[BERLIN] German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that any new negotiations with Greece on its crippling debt crisis should come after its upcoming referendum on EU bailout proposals.

"Should the Greek government ask for negotiations, for example after the referendum (next Sunday), we would of course not refuse," she told reporters.

The outcome of a referendum called by Athens for July 5 on bailout proposals is "of course to do with the future of the euro", Ms Merkel said, stressing it was however up to Greeks to decide how to vote.

She was speaking at a joint press conference with Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel after an emergency meeting with party and parliamentary leaders on the Greek crisis.

Gabriel was more direct in saying the question in Sunday's Greek referendum amounted to a 'yes' or 'no' to staying in the eurozone and that Greek voters must be clear on what they are voting on.

Ms Merkel described the last proposals to Athens by creditors, which Greece has rejected, as "generous", adding "the will on the Greek side for such a compromise was not there".

While she said Europe must be capable of compromise, she also warned that "nobody can however get 100 per cent".

And she reiterated that Europe's core principles of individual responsibility as well as solidarity were "two sides of the same coin".

Germany's Bundestag lower house of parliament will hold a debate on the Greek crisis on Wednesday, the day after Greece's bailout programme expires, Ms Merkel announced.


Read more on the Greek crisis here