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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-03-24
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Marathon NegotiationsWednesday, 24 March 2010 08:51
Eurozone member states are holding feverish negotiations in order to find a formula to support Greece in view of EU Summit Meeting on Thursday. Oli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Policy said the EU had to decide on a way to help Greece this week while a European diplomat said Eurozome member states were nearing agreement on the implementation of a bail out instrument in joint cooperation with IMF.
"We Are at Crossroads"
The European Union (EU) must decide on a way to help Greece this week, or run the risk of causing a "serious disruption" for the euro, the EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said.
"There is already the technical preparedness. Now we need a political decision" stressed Olli Rehn in an interview with the Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat.
"We are at a crossroads. Greece can cause a serious disruption (to the euro), or we can learn from this crisis". Rehn said there were still a number of alternatives on the table to help Greece, and he saw no problems with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) assisting Greece. "The EU is close to the IMF. We are partners."
It was reported on Tuesday that Germany and France were paving the way for a European Union plan to aid Greece, agreed to involve the International Monetary Fund in any potential EU package while Berlin has set three conditions for supporting EU assistance.
A German official said aid would be made available only if Greece:
â¢ Couldn't raise funds in financial markets â¢ The IMF makes a substantial contribution and â¢ EU sanctions against deficit-limit violators are stiffened to prevent similar crisis in the future France and Spain have called for a special meeting of euro zone countries this week to discuss Greece ahead of the regular two-day EU summit which opens on Thursday afternoon.
Sources: Reuters, ÁNA-ÌPA
News item: 34698