* Samaras says Greece determined to stay in euro

* Hollande says Greece must show commitment to reform

PARIS, Aug 25 (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande said Greek leaders must demonstrate their commitment to push through reforms and that Europe must take decisions on the country as soon as possible following a progress report by Athens' international lenders.

Hollande also said following a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Saturday that Greece must stay in the euro zone, echoing comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who held similar talks with Samaras on Friday.

"It (Greece) must demonstrate again the credibility of its programme and the will of its leaders to go through with it to the end, whilst ensuring it's bearable for the population," Hollande told reporters.

"On the European side, we are waiting for the troika report," he said, referring to the grouping of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. "Once we have this report, once the commitments ... are confirmed, Europe has to do what it has to do.

"We've been facing this question for 2-1/2 years. There's no time to lose -- there are commitments to reaffirm on both sides, decisions to take, and the sooner the better. That means after the troika report at the European summit in October."

Samaras said he had assured the French president that Greece was determined to overcome the debt crisis and remain in the euro zone, which would show that Europe was capable of solving its problems.

"Some are betting that Greece will not make it. I am here to assure the French president that Greece is determined to make it and it will. (It will) do whatever is needed to overcome its crisis and remain in the euro zone and play the role it merits in European integration," he said.

The Greek leader added that economic recovery was crucial to help it meet its targets.

Merkel on Friday reassured Samaras that she wanted Greece to stay in the euro zone, but gave no sign of ceding to his pleas for more time to meet the tough terms of Athens' international bailout.

Merkel also stuck doggedly to her policy of deferring to the troika report, though she did say that she and Hollande were in no doubt they wanted Greece to stay in the single currency.

The French and German leaders had coordinated their stance on Greece over dinner in Berlin on Thursday.

Trying to emulate the "Merkozy" partnership under Hollande's predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, the conservative Merkel and the Socialist French president showed a united front, insisting Greece must meet its targets before any new discussion of terms.

The markets have been optimistic that Europe -- and particularly the ECB -- will finally come up with decisive action in a busy month of euro diplomacy in September to resolve the shared currency bloc's sovereign debt crisis.

Samaras said in a German newspaper interview earlier this week that Greece can stay afloat if it receives its next tranche of aid later than October, but will be broke if the money does not arrive.

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  • California

    At the height of the 2008 financial meltdown, California became a poster child for living beyond one's means, as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a financial emergency over the state's $11.2 billion deficit. Though austerity measures have quelled the fears of credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's, which <a href="http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Californias-Credit-Rating-Gets-a-Boost-139342128.html" target="_hplink">recently upgraded California's rating</a> to "positive," cuts to public spending will be painful, with the axe set to fall everywhere from state parks to universities. Photo: Protestors carry signs as they demonstrate against proposed cuts to Medical and Medicare outside San Francisco city hall on September 21, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • United Kingdom

    With a debt-to-GDP ratio of around 60 per cent, the UK's financial situation is much better than many of its international peers. But in the wake of record-breaking budget deficits and continued economic unrest, the country's centre-right government is pursuing <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/source/2012/02/01/sheer-scale-of-u-k-austerity-measures-revealed/" target="_hplink">the most far-reaching austerity program in generations</a>. The proposed cuts, which are expected to total 126 billion ($197 billion) pounds by 2016-2017, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/30/business/global/britain-lowers-economic-growth-forecast.html" target="_hplink">include axing 600,000 public sector jobs</a>. Photo: A protester holds up a smoke bomb during a mass demonstration against government financial cuts in central London, on March 26, 2011. (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Spain

    Amid growing unease among international lenders and an annual budget deficit estimated at between six and eight per cent of GDP, Spain's government last year <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16364313" target="_hplink">set the stage for an 8.9-billion-euro ($11.5 billion) austerity package</a>, the first in a wave of spending cuts and tax hikes expected to amount to 16.5 billion euros in 2012. But after allegedly dragging its heels in advance of a regional election, Spain is reportedly in danger of <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/14/us-eu-spain-deficit-idUSTRE81D0LG20120214" target="_hplink">receiving a fine from the European Union for not doing more to reduce its deficit</a>. Photo: Thousands of police, teachers and hospital staff stage a mass protest march in Barcelona on January 2012 in growing anger at spending cuts hitting key services in Spain's Catalonia region. (JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Italy

    When bond yields began to drift perilously north -- a telltale sign of waning confidence among international lenders -- Italy set about reducing its debt-to-GDP ratio of 120 per cent. The <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16301956" target="_hplink">30-billion euro ($39 billion) austerity package approved in December</a> under interim Prime Minister Mario Monti, who took over from Silvio Burlosconi at the height of the crisis, includes measures to reduce tax evasion, health care cuts and hiking the retirement age for state workers to 66. Photo: A hand with a heart painted holds a cigarette as dozens of anti-capitalist 'Indignant' protestors demonstrated on January 14, 2012 in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican. (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Ireland

    After the government's efforts to bail out six of the country's biggest banks sent the deficit soaring -- and prompted a 67.5 billion euro bailout -- Ireland embraced belt-tightening with gusto, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/20/business/global/irish-austerity-measures-cut-two-ways-report-finds.html" target="_hplink">reducing its annual budget deficit from 32 per cent of GDP in 2010 to 10 per cent</a>. The latest austerity program announced in December includes tax hikes, a reduction in the child benefit and cuts to public sector wages and jobs. Photo: A protester holds up two Irish flags in front of the General Post Office in Dublin on November 27, 2010 against savage cutbacks. (PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Portugal

    Tough austerity measures have sparked growing unrest in Portugal, where tax hikes and spending cuts have done little to wrench the country out of financial turmoil. Despite dodging bankruptcy in 2011 by accepting a 78 billion euro ($102 billion) bailout, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/markets/portugal-records-double-dip-recession-in-2011-as-debt-crisis-austerity-measures-bite/2012/02/14/gIQAD0O5CR_story.html" target="_hplink">Portugal remains mired in recession</a>, as government readies to pursue even more significant belt-tightening this year. Photo: A worker speaks in a megaphone in front of the Finance Ministry in protest against government austerity measures during a demonstration launched by Portugal's biggest trade union called Portuguese General Workers Confederation (CGTP) in Lisbon, on February 11, 2012. (PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Greece

    At the epicentre of the eurozone debt crisis, Greece, where the debt-to-GDP ratio is estimated at 160 per cent, has had little choice but to pursue an unrelenting and aggressive belt-tightening campaign. With talks underway to secure a second massive bailout -- and amid yet another wave of violent protests -- <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/12/greece-austerity-cuts-euro-bailout" target="_hplink">the country recently approved another 3.3 billion euros ($4.3 billion) in spending cuts</a>, expected to come at the expense of government wages, jobs and pensions. Photo: Protesters clash with riot police at Athens touristic Monastiraki area near the Acropolis on October 19, 2011. (LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)