U.S. Markets closed

Greece must take 'major steps' to compromise -EU's Juncker

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker addresses the European Parliament during a debate on the latest tragedies in the Mediterranean and E.U. migration and asylum policies in Strasbourg, France, April 29, 2015. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Athens must take major steps to compromise with its international creditors but a Greek exit from the euro zone is not an option, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday.

Greek negotiators and representatives of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund have been holding talks since last Thursday on an interim deal to address Greece's debt problems.

Wide differences over pension and labour reforms remain as the country's cash position becomes increasingly critical.

Speaking at the University of Leuven in Belgium, Juncker said Greece had "to take major steps in our direction and we have to be ready to respond in an adequate way to these steps (that) they don't have the choice not to take."

Everyone should understand that European economic and monetary union was irreversible. "That's why ... Grexit isn't an option," he said.

If Greece left the euro zone, the "Anglo-Saxon world" would try everything to break up the single currency area, he added.


(Reporting by Adrian Croft; editing by John Stonestreet)