German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reassured Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras that she wants his country to stay in the eurozone.

However, Dr Merkel gave no sign of ceding to his pleas for more time to meet the tough terms of Greece’s international bailout.

Mr Samaras had made it clear before the talks that he was asking Germany and France for more "air" to implement the reforms rather than seeking more cash.

Today he promised to get results and to narrow Greece's "fiscal deficit and the deficit in confidence".

"We're not asking for more money. We're asking for breaths of air in this dive we are taking," Mr Samaras told a joint news conference with Dr Merkel.

But the most he got from the German Chancellor was a promise "that we will not make premature judgments but will await reliable evidence".

She was referring to the Troika of the EC, ECB and IMF, which will report on Greece this autumn.

Mr Samaras is expected to get much the same response from French President Francois Hollande in Paris tomorrow.

Mr Hollande and Dr Merkel coordinated their stance on Greece over dinner in Berlin last night.

They insisted Greece must meet its targets before any new discussion of terms.

Dr Merkel stuck doggedly today to her policy of deferring to the Troika report, although she did say that she and Mr Hollande were in no doubt they wanted Greece to stay in the single currency.

"Greece is part of the eurozone and I want Greece to remain part of the eurozone," Dr Merkel said.