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Greek PM promises 'success' in debt crisis

The Local · 27 Sep 2011, 17:52

Published: 27 Sep 2011 17:52 GMT+02:00

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Visiting Berlin to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou insisted that Athens was pulling out all the stops to resolve Europe's snowballing debt crisis and prevent it from bringing down the euro project as a whole.

"I can guarantee that Greece will live up to all its commitments. I promise you we Greeks will soon fight our way back to growth and prosperity after this period of pain," he insisted, adding that pillorying Greece would not help.

"If people feel only punishment and scorn, this crisis will not become an opportunity, it will become a lost cause. And we are determined to make this a success," the Greek leader told the Federation of German Industries ahead of a crunch meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday evening.

Greece was making a "superhuman effort" to bring down its debt, Papandreou insisted.

Merkel, for her part, said the crisis was not a crisis in the common currency itself, but in the huge debt piles amassed by eurozone members.

"We don't have a euro crisis, but a debt crisis," Merkel said, speaking after Papandreou at the German business leaders’ meeting

The two leaders were due to meet for a working dinner later amid increasing speculation that Greece could default, with the next instalment of debt aid due under its May 2010 bailout accord with the EU and IMF.

Athens says the aid payment, worth €8 billion ($11 billion), is essential for it to continue paying its bills.

Merkel has to get her increasingly tetchy coalition into line on the matter by Thursday for a parliamentary vote on increasing contributions to the European Financial Stability Fund.

While the legislation is certain to pass - the opposition has vowed to vote in favour - Merkel faces the humiliation of having to rely on them because of a threatened backbench rebellion from her governing coalition.

She said on Tuesday that American calls for more economic stimulus to boost demand were not helpful.

“We need to combine economic growth with solid public finances ... we are not in favour of new stimulus programmes," she said.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaüble also aimed barbed comments at US President Barack Obama who had warned on Monday that Europe's failure to tackle crippling Greek debt was "scaring the world".

"It's always much easier to give advice to others than to decide for yourself. I am well prepared to give advice to the US government," Schaüble said in an English-language address to the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin.

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"Even if Obama is thinking the opposite, I don't think the problems of Europe are the reason for the problems of the US," he said.

Despite the sharp words, global stocks rallied for a second day running with huge advances in Europe on belief that EU and world leaders are preparing a blockbuster response to the eurozone debt crisis, traders said.

AFP/The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

20:25 September 27, 2011 by mixxim 1
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts?
06:40 September 28, 2011 by Wrench
In my opinion........., what?......excuse me, someone is at my door with this large wooden horse.
06:46 September 28, 2011 by thejohnmunich
this is silly. Seem liked only Germany is allow to comment on China, India, Tibet...etc. Other countires not allow to comment on her..... A case of shallow people are even shallower??
10:35 September 28, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ thejohnmunich

Are you serious when you say that Germany commented on China's, India's, Tibets' finances? Where did you hear/read that? It seems improbable that Frau Merkel or Herr Schaüble would do that.

The American calls for stimulus packages is typical - when all your life you used only a hammer, then all problems look like a nail.
10:45 September 28, 2011 by storymann
"We need to combine economic growth with solid public finances " I agree but first you need to get out of the crisis,and no matter what rhetoric one uses it is a crisis.

Only the obtuse would see it any other way.

Mr. Schaüble always takes a swipe at Obama, I am not a fan of Obamas but he is not the only leader making comments, Schaüble restrains himself from the comments made by Hu Jintao and other leaders.

The super human effort that Greece's president speaks of is the financial ruin of the citizens of Greece.The big question is, how much can these people take?. The fault was with the Government now the people must pay the price for their incompitance.

After Greece comes Ireland, Portugal , Spain and Italy all of whom are mired in debt. It will be interesting to follow this to it's uncertain conclusion.
13:01 September 28, 2011 by Shirazz
Greek PM Says

"I can guarantee that Greece will live up to all its commitments. I promise you we Greeks will soon fight our way back to growth and prosperity after this period of pain," (...uh...just help us this time...and next....)

I wonder what he's guaranteeing with. PM's as well as all the M's will come and go.

They can promise the moon, na und?

Merkel was right. It's not about Euro crisis, but it's about debt crisis. And debt crisis usually is the consequence of over spending and corruption.

It's the system that has to be credible enough to guarantee, and as long as the mentality (of which could improve the system) don't change, nothing will.
15:07 September 28, 2011 by jbaker
The money system has failed. Time to tell the world bankers to stuff it and go crawl back into the hole they crawled out of.
17:36 September 28, 2011 by raandy
Papandreou smile is not very convincing.
18:08 September 28, 2011 by Shirazz
Has some Yanni resemblance...
18:09 September 28, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
ChrisRea: "The American calls for stimulus packages is typical - when all your life you used only a hammer, then all problems look like a nail. "


Also, Merkel needs to figure out a new way through this - I'm not saying it's an easy task - but there is support in the European financial community. Instead of just forking over larger and larger sums of cash to a corrupted and failed system (Greece), there should be an alternative approach that allows Greece to prop itself up with her own finances. I jsut do not understand WHERE all this German bailout money is going? Greece needs German oversight to make sure the money is being spent correctly, and not on the "honors system".
07:42 September 29, 2011 by Ricktanner
I nearly fell off my chair reading about Greece PM Papandreou "guarantees".

He must thinking that the Germans are stupid.

Greece should be allowed to default. Greece's problem is financial mismanagement. They have a reputation for making promises they wont keep.

The only way to hold the Greeks to their words would be to hand them a little of the required funds at a time, in exchange for promises delivered. The cash to go after they deliver on their promises. Not before. Otherwise, it would be monies down the drain.
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