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Merkel says EU will not abandon Greece

AFP/The Local · 11 Feb 2010, 13:27

Published: 11 Feb 2010 13:27 GMT+01:00

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However, the German leader stressed that Athens would also have to respect the common European rules on deficits.

The EU "is not going to leave Greece on its own" she told reporters after a pre-summit meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Greek Prime Minister Georges Papandreou, European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet, EU president Herman van Rompuy and EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso.

"But rules are rules and the rules must also be respected," Merkel added, with regard to Greece's swollen public deficit, currently more than four times the limit laid down by Brussels and the highest in the eurozone.

"It's on this basis that we will adopt a decision," Merkel stressed.

Earlier on Thursday, a European diplomatic source said Paris and Berlin want to see "much higher demands than the European Commission" has announced for Greece.

Story continues below…

The two eurozone big hitters want Greece to provide "guarantees that it will respect the objective of reducing its deficit by four percentage points this year," a French diplomatic source said.

Both capitals are concerned that Greece's economic woes could spread, the source said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:34 February 11, 2010 by saar
Are we gonna bail out Spain,Portugal and Ireland as well? Then they are not gonna do anything about their problems. If so, who is gonna bail us out?
14:45 February 11, 2010 by berlinski
Nobody said anything about bailing other countries out. And in any case, if Germany needed to be bailed out, it would probably be the Americans again.
16:04 February 11, 2010 by Al uk
Given the state of the American economy i think they have a few problems of their own to deal with Berlinski.
01:09 February 12, 2010 by pepsionice
Just so we are thinking about this the right way.....bailing-out someone or some country....doesn't fix the real problem.

In this case (very similar to California's case).....political figures have to make a decision to cut budgets and make people suffer. The Greeks weren't going to really do that....they were hoping for money to keep them afloat for four to six months....while they argued more about cuts which they don't want to make. Read the script....it's from California too.

The Merkel decision was smart. The Euro will rise and yes, it might hit make US products more expensive to Germans and German products cheaper for the US. I don't think that's bad thing for the German public. Life goes on in Germany. As for the Greeks....prepare for two or three changes of government by December of this year....and hostile students in the streets when educational cuts come.
01:37 February 12, 2010 by berlinski
Al uk. It certainty wont be the brits either as they are almost in as bad a situation as Italy, spain and portugal etc. What I meant was, it will only start to get better when the US economy gets better, as always.
03:31 February 12, 2010 by Davey-jo
How deep are Germany's pockets; 'cos the rotten Euro states will come knocking at your door any minute ....

Just glad old Gordon brown kept the UK out of this crud. Well done Gordon.
07:27 February 12, 2010 by Emily D
If you want an idea of what Greeks seem to think about this, look at what a Greek nationalist posted in relation to this:

"I find it to be divine retribution that the dirty Germans have to bail out Greece-hahahahahaha, I freakin' love it. Greece can live life to the max, spend whatever we want and the german taxpayers have to pay for it-looooooooool, you filthy n*zi pr*cks, your getting what you deserve. I feel like buying a the most expensive champagne and smashing it just for fun, we'll just charge the EU."
22:35 February 13, 2010 by siastar75
Emily I don't know this Greek national that you quoted, but the comments are disgusting and being a first generation Greek American, most Greeks I know (and I know many and speak Greek fluently) do NOT feel this way about Germans.

I love Greece, but the government needs a swift kick in the rear. They are unfortunately, very laissez faire about many things, including collecting taxes, land registry, and having proper oversight. This has been going on for decades creating quite an enormous mess. Greece needs accountability. Hopefully this will be it.
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