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Greek PM Samaras welcomes Merkel visit

ATHENS, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras welcomed on Friday German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit Athens next week, her first since Greece's international bailout two years ago.

"It is a very positive development that Ms. Merkel has accepted our invitation," Samaras told reporters in Athens. "We will welcome her as befitting a leader of a great, friendly nation such as Germany," he added.

Merkel will fly to Athens on Tuesday. Greece's two main labour unions and one opposition party have already called rallies in central Athens that day to protest her visit.

(Reporting by Harry Papachristou)

((harry.Papachristou@thomsonreuters.com)(+30 210 33 76 455 or +30 6949 440 106)(Reuters Messaging: harry.papachristou@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: GREECE PM/MERKEL