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Eurozone finance ministers meet amid growing fears over Greece


brussels bureau

Eurozone finance ministers meet amid growing fears over Greece

Greece’s potential exit from the euro was once again top of the agenda as finance ministers gathered in Brussels for their monthly Eurogroup meeting.

Last year such talk was unthinkable. But, with the on-going political deadlock in Athens and a failure there to form a coalition government, leaders were openly discussing what Greece needed to do to stay in the eurozone.

‘‘It’s very difficult in Greece right now. We shouldn’t dictate what the country must do. But nevertheless, as we have lent money, the conditions we agreed should be met. We don’t have a deal with any particular government, what we have is a deal with the Hellenic Republic,’‘ Luc Frieden, Luxembourg’s Finance Minister said.

The biggest fear remains contagion to the bloc’s other debt stricken economies, especially Spain.

Despite major worries about Spain’s banking sector the country’s economy minister Luis de Guindos
insisted Madrid was delivering on its promises.

‘‘In relation to Spain, I’d like to emphasise that Spain has taken all the measures judged necessary. We’ve implemented these with conviction. These measures will help growth to return and re-balance Spain’s economy.’‘

Nonetheless, with Madrid’s borrowing edging towards unsustainable levels, De Guindos also called on his counterparts to deliver a united response to prevent Greece’s problems engulfing Spain and the rest of the bloc.

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