Friday 20 October 2017

Sarkozy: Back Greece or risk destroying the euro

FRENCH President Nicolas Sarkozy said the EU must support Greece or risk destroying the euro as Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou heads for Paris to lobby support for the debt-laden country.

“If we created the euro, we cannot let a country fall that is in the eurozone. Otherwise there was no point in creating the euro,” Mr Sarkozy said.

EU leaders have so far refused to give financial aid to Greece and have ordered the government to cut its budget deficit, the EU’s highest, on its own.

While Mr Papandreou says steps taken this past week to slash the shortfall warrant more help from the EU, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said yesterday that his country was “not going to write a blank cheque”.

Mr Papandreou is visiting Berlin, Paris and Washington after his government passed a €4.8bn austerity package last week.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is rebuffing any talk of a rescue, even as EU nations are said to be working on a contingency bailout plan.

Her finance minister said yesterday that officials should work on creating a European organisation similar to the IMF to prevent a repeat of the crisis.

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