France and Germany voice support for Greek reform and austerity programJune 18th, 2011 - 9:10 am ICT by BNO News
BERLIN (BNO NEWS) — France and Germany on Friday voiced their support to the Greek government and its ambitious reform and austerity measures to overcome the economic crisis, Deutsche Welle television reported.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Berlin where the two leaders agreed to supporting Greece and called for a swift solution to the Greek financial crisis.
In addition, Merkel and Sarkozy said that Greece will need a second bailout package in addition to the €110 billion ($157 billion) bailout agreed to in 2010. The second aid package, expected to be around €100 billion ($143.11 billion), has divided European Union Member States.
“Germany and France are determined at the upcoming EU summit to demand a quick solution to the Greek crisis,” said Chancellor Merkel. “We also desire participation of the private creditors on a voluntary basis.”
President Sarkozy said that such plan for private participation on a voluntary basis will be drafted by experts with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union and European Central Bank (ECB). It is expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
The involvement of the private sector, such as banks and insurance companies, has to be voluntary as there is no legal basis to achieve compulsory participation. France previously objected to this demand but after Friday’s meeting agreed on the issue.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has struggled to reach a consensus within his Parliament on a new bailout deal. Opposition parties have strongly rejected the Premier’s efforts and instead demanded a renegotiation of the bailout terms.
Meanwhile, Greek citizens have been staging protests against the government’s austerity measures and cutbacks. Thousands of people gathered in Athens’ Syntagma Square this week, just in front of the country’s Parliament, clashing violently with police forces.
In addition, Greece’s largest labor unions joined on Wednesday to hold a 24-hour strike, which affected public services including hospitals and health clinics, public transportation, and mass media broadcasts.
Next Thursday, a two-day EU summit will be held to address Greece’s financial issues which have destabilized the Euro currency and the EU markets. The Mediterranean country is in need of a second bailout to avoid bankruptcy as the first one failed to stabilize its finances.
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Tags: angela merkel, austerity measures, austerity program, bailout package, chancellor angela merkel, compulsory participation, european union member states, french president nicolas, french president nicolas sarkozy, george papandreou, german chancellor angela merkel, greek citizens, greek prime minister, international monetary fund, international monetary fund imf, nicolas sarkozy, president nicolas sarkozy, private creditors, syntagma square, union member states