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Europe's Socialists seek help for Greece

brussels bureau

Europe's Socialists seek help for Greece


EU leaders face a busy day as they strive to find a European solution to Greece’s financial meltdown.

Socialist leaders have arrived in Brussels looking to win support for their colleagues in Athens, pushing for a Eurogroup summit as well as today’s Council of Europe meeting.

EU President Herman Van Rompuy is backing the meeting, in which the left wants to discuss a plan for an emergency EU fund to bail out troubled economies.

The stiffest challenge to the idea is coming from Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing public opposition to a plan that many see as pouring euros down the drain to bail out the Greeks.

Today she said she would vigorously push for a combination of bilateral aid to Greece combined with IMF support, and only if EU treaties were stiffened to prevent runaway debt in the future.

The EU would rather keep the IMF out of it, and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has spent much of his first months in office doing the rounds of European capitals looking for help.

Today Greece marks its independence day, but crisis, not celebration, appears to be the order of the day in Athens.

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brussels bureau