- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 20, 2012

BERLIN (AP) - The German government says Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Germany’s European Championship quarterfinal match against Greece _ a game that brings together nations at opposite ends of Europe’s debt crisis.

Government spokesman Georg Streiter says Merkel would be able to go to Friday’s match in Gdansk, Poland, because the Italian government moved forward by several hours a meeting in Rome with her Italian and Spanish counterparts.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, has been a major contributor to international bailouts for Greece and was instrumental in demanding structural reforms and hugely unpopular spending cuts in return. Merkel is not a popular figure in Greece.

Streiter stresses that the quarterfinal match is purely a sporting event. He says that the chancellor “hopes for an exciting and fair match.”