Chancellor Merkel says she wants Greece to “remain part of our story”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday she wanted Greece to “remain part of our story,” ahead of elections this weekend which could sweep the anti-austerity SYRIZA party to power and determine whether the country stays in the eurozone.

“At the heart of our principles lies solidarity. I want Greece, despite the difficulties, to remain part of our story,” Ms Merkel said during a press conference in Florence with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Mr Renzi, 40, said he was «not worried about the results of the Greek election. I respect the citizens’ choice and from next week the 27 (EU) partners will work with” whoever wins “with great willingness.”

The election – the second in three years – comes with Greece still locked in talks with its EU-IMF creditors for a 7.2-billion-euro (S$11 billion) tranche of bailout loans the state needs to stay afloat.