As the Greek multi-billion euro debt question defies Athens’ best efforts, the prime minister has appealed to European Union partners to help it meet the challenge fairly.
George Papandreou said this was not to say Greece is asking for money. Yet he told the European Parliament that planned cuts were only feasable if Athens can money at less punishing rates — and he would rather not turn to the IMF for help:
“I would prefer a European solution — as part of the euro zone, [and] as an ardent European myself… to show the world that Europe can act together.”
Berlin cracked the whip on Wednesday, suggesting the euro club switchits rules in future so it could kick out a member for longterm fiscal indiscipline.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speech appeared aimed at stiffening resolve to prevent a wider crisis and avoid bailing out euro states.
Meanwhile, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, at the European Commission, has been keen to downplay opposing visions on economic governance. She said she had assured the Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs of France’s support to improve economic governance, especially within the euro zone.
The EU leaders at a planned summit next week are expected to discuss heeding Papandreou’s call before Greece’s debt-refinancing options dry up any further.