U.S. President Barack Obama offered some comfort to the embattled Greek population by hinting that the austerity drive may be tempered with other ways of restoring the economy to health.
Remarks made by the President following a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in the Oval Office Thursday suggested that the U.S. is moving towards a softer approach to Greece's rebuilding of its economy. Greece's GDP figures for the second quarter of the year are due on Monday, and are expected to show that the country's grim economic times are continuing.
(Read more: Is Greece on the right track after all?)
Obama said: "It's important that we have a plan for fiscal consolidation to manage the debt, but it's also important that growth and jobs are a focus."
Samaras, who is on a three-day trip to the U.S., pointed to the suffering of the Greek people under wide-ranging cuts to public services and public sector jobs. "We've gone through thick and thin," he told reporters." The sacrifices made by the Greek people are huge, but they're not going to be in vain."