In a radio interview, the German Chancellor said she feared causing turbulence in financial markets by raising “false expectations” about aid. She reiterated Greece has to sort out its own debt problems for the good of the euro single currency.
European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has urged EU member states to agree a standby aid package Greece at a summit in Brussels 25-26 March after Athens said it might have to turn to the IMF for help. “There’s no looming insolvency,” Merkel said. “I don’t believe that Greece has any acute financial needs from the European community and that’s what the Greek prime minister keeps telling me.”
On Friday Barroso said the 16 countries that share the euro should be ready to make coordinated bilateral loans to Greece to help it reduce its budget deficit and refinance its debts, which are nearing 120 per cent of gross domestic product.
Barroso said the situation could not be allowed to be go on for much longer and action was needed rapidly.