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Merkel and Sarkozy determined to implement EU bailout plan for Greece

Tuesday, November 1st 2011 - 20:52 UTC
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Germany and France furious with PM Papandreou's decision to call a referendum Germany and France furious with PM Papandreou's decision to call a referendum

Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Nicolas Sarkozy are “determined” to implement the EU bailout plan for Greece. That was the outcome of an emergency phone call between the two chiefs of state ahead of a G20 summit Wednesday.

The European leaders are determined to push their view that a Greek referendum on a new bailout deal makes more necessary than ever to implement last week's EU summit decisions.

”France and Germany are determined to ensure, with their European partners, the full implementation in the quickest time frame, the decisions adopted at the (Oct. 27) summit, which are today more important than ever“ Sarkozy's office said in a statement.

The meeting, which comes just before a Nov 3-4 gathering of G20 heads of states in Cannes, on the French Riviera, was hastily arranged for Wednesday afternoon after European leaders were taken by surprise by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's decision.

”France and Germany are convinced that this accord will enable Greece to restore lasting growth,“ the statement said. ”In consultation with our European partners and the IMF, (we) would like a road map to be quickly agreed to ensure the implementation of this deal.“

The statement made no mention of the Greek referendum. Sarkozy is also due to meet his top ministers, including the prime minister, finance minister and foreign minister as well as the central bank governor to discuss the latest developments and Paris' plan of action.

Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said the German chancellor and French president ”agreed, together with their European partners, to guarantee the full and swift implementation of the summit decisions, which are today more necessary than ever“.

”Germany and France are convinced that this agreement will enable Greece to return to sustainable growth,“ Seibert said in a statement, adding that they had agreed to hold a round of consultations with European institutions and the IMF, as well as a meeting with the Greek government, in Cannes Wednesday.

PM Papandreou's shock decision to call a referendum on Greece's bailout drew veiled threats from Germany and hammered markets edgy over the Euro zone crisis.

European politicians complained that Athens was trying to wriggle out of the rescue deal agreed only last week, concerned not so much about the fate of Greece as the possibly dire consequences for the entire currency union.

One senior German parliamentarian suggested the Euro zone might have to cast Athens adrift, cutting off its aid lifeline and allowing the nation to default. Others were stunned by Papandreou's apparent bolt from the blue on Monday on the plan for a 130 billion-euro bailout and a 50-percent write-down on Greece's huge debt, which has unleashed fury among Greeks due to its price -- yet more austerity.

But they also urged caution as the exact question to be put to the Greek people remains unknown. EU officials said they had yet to be officially notified of the vote.

The reaction from Germany, which funds a large part of European Union rescues for Greece as it struggles with a huge debt, was of scarcely disguised fury.

A leader in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition said he was ”irritated” by Papandreou's announcement and said the Euro zone would have to consider turning off the flow of money which has kept Greece afloat over the past year.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

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