Greece’s debt problems were again the top topic as German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Luxembourg for talks with Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who also chairs the euro zone finance ministers’ group.
Merkel said a proposed European monetary fund to bail out euro zone nations in trouble would send a clear signal to speculators betting on the possible collapse of the euro.
She told a news conference: “I think that the stronger the internal obligations of each country in the euro zone and in other European members are, the stronger is the signal to the markets that speculation doesn’t have a chance.”
Juncker warned that such a special fund would not be an excuse for fiscal laxness: “I would like to add that one should not see the European Monetary Fund we’ve discussed as an opportunity for countries who have not been disciplined in managing their budgets.”
The Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is in the US asking President Barack Obama to reign in the speculators who by using so-called credit-default swaps are making it harder for Athens to borrow money.
Merkel also wants a crack down on traders betting on a possible default in the euro zone.