French President Francois Hollande on Monday urged Greece to abide by its European commitments, as the spectre of a Greek exit from the eurozone rears its head again.
"The Greeks are free to choose their own destiny. But, having said that, there are certain engagements that have been made and all those must be of course respected," Hollande told French radio.
Hollande's comments came amid fresh political turmoil in Greece ahead of an election on January 25 that could be won by a far-left party.
Over the weekend, the Der Spiegel weekly quoted German government sources as saying that Berlin sees a Greek exit from the eurozone as "almost inevitable" should the radical leftist Syriza party win the snap poll.
Both Merkel and her finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had come to consider that Greece's departure from the single-currency bloc would be "manageable", the magazine said.
The political turmoil and threat of a "Grexit" that came to be seen as inevitable at the height of the eurozone crisis has pushed the value of the single currency to a near nine-year low against the dollar in Asia on Monday.