Senior European Union officials have said that the bloc’s governments probably will not agree on a second international bailout of Greece when they meet for a summit next week. This was after they failed to form a consensus on how private investors would share the burden.
Amadeu Altafaj, a European Commission spokesman in Brussels, stressed the political dimension: “A great deal of responsibility lies on the shoulders of the Greek authorities and all Greek political leaders. The efforts needed to avoid a default – which would be a catastrophe for Greece – are the responsibility of all political forces.”
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, ahead of meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin this Friday, said: “I am calling on everyone to demonstrate their spirit of responsibility and compromise, on which Europe was created.”
The context to Sarkozy’s message is that France carries by far the highest share of Greek debt, and therefore risks losing the most in a credit default. In contrast, taxpayers in Germany are increasingly hostile to shoring up faltering eurozone economies.
Eurozone ministers are due to continue negotiations in Luxembourg on Sunday. A new EU bailout package decision is not expected before July.