BELGIUM: Greek PM Papandreou says his country has done its part, and now it is time to reaffirm confidence in...
- Title: BELGIUM: Greek PM Papandreou says his country has done its part, and now it is time to reaffirm confidence in the euro
- Date: 8th May 2010
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (MAY 7, 2010) (REUTERS) SLOVAKIA PRIME MINISTER ROBERT FICO, ARRIVING
- Reuters ID: LVA9IWMNZNA8OLON2AJ4KD4KIQTD
- Location: Belgium
- Country: Belgium
- Duration: 00:00:06
- Topics: International Relations,Finance
- Story Text: Greek prime minister George Papandreou said on Friday (May 7), upon his arrival in Brussels for the special eurozone summit of leaders, that the Greek people were suffering as a result of the crisis and the drastic austerity measures his government approved.
"The Greek people have endured the strain and the pain of the economic crisis," he said.
He urged the markets to restore their confidence in Greece.
"We have done our part. At the same time there is unprecedented volatility throughout the world, and the world economy. That is why today's meeting here in Brussels is so important. We will reaffirm our confidence in our economies and our common currency. And this is, I believe, a very important message for the global economy. A recovery that will bring back growth, jobs, welfare to our people, to our citizens, in our countries, and to all of Europe. We can do this, we must do this, we will do this together," he added.
Stocks worldwide plunged on Friday and fears about Greece's debt crisis went global. Investors see it as an omen of turmoil in other European economies and governments are struggling to calm markets.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her parliament had also approved Germany's big share of the bailout.
She now wants the leaders to discuss economic governance and the regulation of the markets. She also suggested that the Lisbon Treaty may have to change.
"Three points are of the essence: First, we must speed up the regulation of the financial markets. Time is running out, this has to happen quickly. Second, it's not just Greece that has to consolidate its budget, it is all of us who have to work to implement the stability and growth pact quickly. Thirdly, we have to take care for the stability of the Euro by stating firmly that it is our common currency. But also by sharpening the stability and growth pact, including treaty changes. In my view there is no other way," she said.
Italy's cabinet has given initial approval, and the Dutch parliament was expected to vote for the package on Friday.
Five German academics have filed a legal challenge to the package however, reflecting widespread domestic opposition to the measure.
A European Central Bank Governing Council member, Guy Quaden, sought to appease fears that Portugal, Spain and Ireland could be forced to seek financial help as well.
He said that the euro zone is not about to break apart and that market attacks on the likes of Spain and Portugal are purely speculative: "Portugal, Spain, Ireland or Italy are not in the same situation as Greece."
"We have weak spots in the euro zone because of the various problems individual countries have. And instead of being strong enough together to get out of this, there are debates going on that make the problems even harder. It shouldn't be the case that we cannot follow up by putting out the fire when others are constantly fanning it by throwing oil on to it by speculating," said Austrian Chancellor Werner Fayman.
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