Tags: EU | Europe | Financial | Crisis

Europe Faces German Resistance on Greek Aid

Monday, 22 Mar 2010 09:36 AM


The European Union's executive challenged Germany's intransigence over financial help for Greece on Monday, asking that eurozone leaders agree on a package this week to finally put an end to its debt crisis and months of market turbulence.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday that EU leaders should not discuss a bailout plan at a March 25-26 summit because Greece isn't asking for one right now and should try to solve its debt problems itself.

Greece has tried — and failed — to win over markets worried that it could default on its huge debts. Its borrowing costs have not fallen despite a harsh program of cutbacks and a vague pledge of eurozone support.

The uncertainty has also driven down the euro which is now trading at around $1.36, nearly 10 percent lower than late November.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou says he wants political support from other members of Europe's currency union to help drive down the high interest rates markets are charging Greece. If they can't agree a bailout plan, he warns he will turn to the International Monetary Fund.

For EU officials, this would be a disaster for the 16 nations that use the euro — showing that their loose rules can't prevent a member state getting into trouble or help it out when it risks being unable to repay debt.

EU spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen said EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was "still hopeful" that eurozone leaders would heed his call for a decision on coordinated bilateral loans for Greece. Barroso said they wouldn't need to be paid out instantly.

"We cannot prolong any further the current situation," he said Friday. "I urge the EU's leaders to agree on this instrument as soon as possible."

EU spokesman Amadeu Altafaj Tardio said the EU executive was keen to eliminate uncertainty.

"This is not only about Greece, it's about being in a position, if necessary, to ensure the financial stability of the whole euro area," he told reporters.

Germany, however, sees no need for speed. Merkel told Deutschlandfunk radio on Sunday that EU leaders should not create "illusions" for markets.

"Help is not on the agenda on Thursday," she said. "I would not recommend causing turbulence on the markets by raising false expectations for the summit. If Greece doesn't need help, then we shouldn't put this issue at the head of other discussions."

Her spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said Papandreou had telephoned Merkel on Sunday to repeat that Greece wasn't asking for financial aid at this time. Wilhelm also reiterated that Berlin had no major objections to the country seeking IMF help.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said France's position was to support the currency union.

"We must support our Greek friends," he said, without giving any details.


Associated Press writers Robert Wielaard in Brussels and Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this story.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Delaware Declares Feb. 12 'Charles Darwin Day'

Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 07:56 AM

Delaware's Democratic Gov. Jack Markell has designated Feb. 12 as Charles Darwin Day in his state, to coincide with the  . . .

NFL Donates Super Bowl Air Time to Domestic Violence Ad

Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 07:43 AM

The National Football League will use Super Bowl Sunday to further refurbish its image by demonstrating its commitment t . . .

Criminologist: Arrests Not Focus of Crackdown on Minor Crimes

Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 07:24 AM

One of the country's leading criminologists and co-architect of the preventative "broken windows" policing strategy says . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved