ATHENS - EU leaders at a summit overshadowed by fears Greece could leave the euro pledged support yesterday for Athens as officials behind the scenes considered the doomsday scenario of an exit.
While renewed worries over a possible Greek exit weighed on Europe's stocks, top EU politicians vowed solidarity with Greece but urged the country to live up to its promises.
Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said he "ardently hopes that Greece will remain a member of the eurozone" and "do everything to ensure that happens" after meeting caretaker Greek leader Panayotis Pikrammenos.
David Cameron, prime minister of non-euro Britain, called on eurozone heads to sort out the woes of debt-wracked Greece once and for all to avoid dragging the entire bloc into the abyss.
"Of course what we need is a decisive plan for Greece and we need decisive plans to help get the European economies moving," Mr Cameron told reporters. "But if we're not going to keep coming back and back to meetings like this, we also need to deal with some of the longer-term issues at the heart of running a successful single currency," added the Prime Minister.
French President Francois Hollande said the Greek people had an "important choice" to make on June 17 when Greece holds its second election in six weeks after a ballot earlier this month failed to deliver a conclusive result.
"This choice must be European and we have to send a signal to Greece. France wants Greece to stay in the eurozone, wants the Greeks to respect the commitments they have already made," Mr Hollande told reporters.
The June election is shaping up to be effectively a referendum on whether Greece stays in the euro, as parties opposed to austerity measures needed for future bailouts gain significantly in the polls.