Angela Merkel reaffirms will to help Greece

The Greek prime minister said Tuesday that Athens would live up to the commitments that it has made to its international creditors as he urged Europe to pull together to take the steps needed to stem a potentially disastrous escalation in the debt crisis.

Speaking later before the same group of German business leaders, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would provide all the help it could to stabilize Greece.

“We must stop blaming each other for our different weaknesses and unite together with our different strengths,” Mr. Papandreou said. “The euro zone must now take bold steps towards fiscal integration to stabilize the monetary union. Let’s not allow those who are betting against the euro to succeed.”

The speeches — and a meeting between the two leaders set for Tuesday evening — come just two days before German lawmakers are to vote on a bill that would bolster the main European bailout fund, known as the European Financial Stability Facility. Although it is sure to pass — with opposition support if necessary — some members of Mrs. Merkel’s governing coalition are threatening to oppose the changes amid popular anger about bailing out Athens. That would be another blow to her credibility at home.

Mrs. Merkel urged lawmakers to back the bill “in a spirit of friendship, a spirit of partnership, not in a spirit of imposing something.”

“If Europe isn’t doing well, then over the medium term Germany won’t do well,” she said.

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