BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that Greece seemed to be making headway with its reforms and should stick to the agreements it had made but added that the crisis-stricken country should continue to be given more chances.
"I have the impression that, step-by-step, we are beginning to see progress there. It's often slower than we had imagined but on this front we should give Greece another chance time and again," she said in a weekly video podcast.
"On the one hand we should demand that the agreements on which we decided together are kept. But on the other hand we should, in our role as friends and partners, offer assistance and support."
Merkel said the German government was in close contact with Greece.
Earlier this week Merkel visited Greece for the first time since the euro zone crisis erupted three years ago and while she reaffirmed Berlin's commitment to keep Greece inside the euro zone, she offered no concrete relief ahead of a new report on Greece's reform progress due by next month.
Asked if a European Union in which an increasing number of member states ask for financial aid was sustainable, she said: "No of course not. It would be wrong if things were to stay like this but now the markets are also testing if we will stay together."
Merkel said she was against turning the EU into a federal system like the United States: "I don't think we should overstretch ourselves."
Merkel said the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU on Friday provided motivation to further develop the union.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin; editing by Keiron Henderson)
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