Greece’s premier has called for his country’s aid package to be pushed through more quickly as market forces continued to send his government’s borrowing costs rocketing.
George Papandreou told delegates at an economic conference that the cash would give him much-needed time to implement an ambitious plan to cut Greece’s deficit by up to 15 billion euros.
“We cannot let a small fire – a small fire because Greece is only 2-3 per cent of the GDP of the European Union, get out of control,” said Prime Minister Papandreou. “It would be dangerous for Greece – damaging for Greece, and we already feel the damage. But it could be catastrophic for the European Union and the world.”
Those fears have now spread beyond the borders of Europe to the US, with President Obama urging a reluctant Germany to finalise its negotiations and approve the 45 billion euro joint bailout.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said:
“We hope the talks may be concluded in the next few days. Germany will make its decisions based on this. This is about the stability of the eurozone overall and we will not shy away from this responsibility.”
Markets continue to be nervous as speculation grows over the health of several eurozone members, countries that are running huge budget deficits due to recession but which have borrowed heavily.