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EU president-elect Juncker: "I fought like a lion" to keep Greece in euro

  • Greece EU Juncker-1.jpg

    Jean-Claude Juncker, president-elect of the European Commission, left, waves to the media at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Juncker is visit Athens in his first trip since his election by the new European Parliament last month. He meets Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, a fellow conservative, to express support for the country's ongoing effort to make its public finances sustainable. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) (The Associated Press)

  • Greece EU Juncker-2.jpg

    Jean-Claude Juncker, president-elect of the European Commission, left, and Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras enter the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Juncker is visit Athens in his first trip since his election by the new European Parliament last month. He meets Samaras, a fellow conservative, to express support for the country's ongoing effort to make its public finances sustainable. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) (The Associated Press)

  • Greece EU Juncker-3.jpg

    Greece's Prime Minister Antonis, right, hugs Jean-Claude Juncker, president-elect of the European Commission at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Juncker is visit Athens in his first trip since his election by the new European Parliament last month. He meets Samaras, a fellow conservative, to express support for the country's ongoing effort to make its public finances sustainable. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) (The Associated Press)

  • Greece EU Juncker-4.jpg

    Jean-Claude Juncker, president-elect of the European Commission, left, waves to the media as Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras welcomes him at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Juncker is visit Athens in his first trip since his election by the new European Parliament last month. He meets Samaras, a fellow conservative, to express support for the country's ongoing effort to make its public finances sustainable. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) (The Associated Press)

EU President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker says he "fought like a lion" to keep Greece in the euro single currency, visiting Athens on his first trip since winning the election for Europe's highest office.

The former eurogroup chairman on Monday praised Greek efforts to improve public finances but declined to comment on options being considered by eurozone countries to make Greece's runaway national debt sustainable.

Juncker, who succeeds, Jose Manuel Barroso in November, also declined to give details on his choices for the next European Commission.

Greece has promised to end a crippling recession this year after being bailed out from the brink of bankruptcy four years ago, with billions in rescue loans from the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund.