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Merkel: EU needs clarity on Greek euro package

The Local · 2 Nov 2011, 16:34

Published: 02 Nov 2011 16:34 GMT+01:00

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"For us, it is actions that matter. We agreed a programme with Greece last week. And from the EU side, at least for Germany, we want to implement this programme," Merkel told reporters.

"For this, we need clarity and that's what these talks tonight are about," added the chancellor.

Merkel, along with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, top EU officials and the head of the International Monetary Fund, were set to meet George Papandreou later on Wednesday before a summit of the G20 group of top economies.

She said Germany noted the decision to put the package to a popular vote.

"I can't say any more than that on the subject now. I can only say that we have to come to a point where we know what comes next," added Merkel, speaking at a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Earlier, she had quipped that she loved Greeks "when they act reasonably."

Meanwhile, in Athens, Papandreou was battling for his political life after narrowly securing cabinet backing for the controversial referendum ahead of a confidence vote in his government.

A three-day debate on the vote of confidence was due to start in parliament late on Wednesday as new protests were planned later in the week against nearly two years of austerity policies.

For his part, Erdogan said that the crisis was a matter for those within the 27-member European Union bloc but said he "hoped for a positive outcome." He was also due to fly to the G20 meeting in Cannes, southern France.

At an earlier news conference, Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said Berlin would have liked to have been warned in advance of Papandreou's announcement, which appeared to catch everyone by surprise.

"In the interest of European cooperation it would have been preferable if the Greek government had informed Germany and its other European partners beforehand," Seibert said.

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He added that the run-up to Greece's referendum must not result in lost time, as the financial markets and European politicians fret that the situation could worsen in the meantime.

"The time until the referendum must not be lost time either for Greece or for the eurozone," said Seibert. "We cannot afford that in this international situation."

Greece can count on Europe's solidarity if it makes its own efforts "to restore its financial stability, its economic competitiveness," he added.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:16 November 2, 2011 by maxbrando
This Greek man wants to give his fellow citizens a voice in what they will do in the future. What, an actual vote by Greek citizens??? It is no wonder that the pencilneck pinheads who are in charge of Europe, are against a vote. After all, every left-wing liberal and socialist knows what's good for the European people and they are going to make the people do it whether they want to or not. European idiots.
19:13 November 2, 2011 by flipinwotsit
...I´ve just heard in the news that a Greek is interested in buying Karstadt and Galerie Kaufhof.....What with?? Buttons??
22:10 November 2, 2011 by Englishted

What you say was correct up to a point ,but why blame the left and socialists?

Unless I have missed the news that the leaders of France and Germany have changed sides.

Maybe the Greeks are trying to reintroduce (they were the first) democracy back into Europe, because we need it.
00:07 November 3, 2011 by nemo999
My Dear Prof. Merkel;

What a novel idea, for a democracy, to actually allow the people to vote on the issue of how tight the chains are to be tied around their collected bodies, versus the political elite who sit in the parliament rendering the decision.

I feel that coming Greek actions will provide you with all the Clarity that you will need. Please have plan "B" and plan "C" ready, because I think the people of Greece are going to not agree with plan "A".
01:44 November 3, 2011 by hedon5554
Europe needs Greece and Greece needs Europe.

Europe needs any country in Europe and any country in Europe needs Europe including Russia.

It will take some time for all of you Europeans to understand this including Germany.

Why then there is a financial problem with Greece? Because the current financial EU model is not working. CHANGE IT!
03:07 November 3, 2011 by Sibins
'Greek' state is like Trojan horse, they should not be EU members in first place. They repress minorities, hate neighbouring countries, have corupted system which was ignored by EU. They should pay back the money and get out of Europe
09:48 November 3, 2011 by storymann
Europe¦#39;s leaders should have paid more attention to the distress of ordinary Greeks and less to the distress of well-heeled European bankers.

I can understand whty Mr. Papandreou has decided he needs a mandate to press forward with the difficult reforms, and too onerous austerity, that is Europe¦#39;s price for keeping Greece solvent.

It is becoming impossible to keep laying off thousands of state workers while austerity choked off any realistic possibility of their finding private sector jobs or to keep slashing social benefits and services while the numbers of poor and unemployed surged.

It was not the people that created this but the profligate, condemning Greece to years of negative growth, soaring unemployment and rising taxes with nothing promised in return except that maybe, a decade from now, its ratio of debt to gross domestic product might get back down to the problematic levels of 2008-9.

Be thankful you are not a citizen of Greece.
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