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France and Italy say EU ready to enact Greek rescue plan

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-04-09

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after talks with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Friday that the EU is ready to implement its aid plan for Greece. Berlusconi added that the EU had a "responsibility" to support the debt-saddled country.

AFP - The European Union is ready to put in motion its aid plan for Greece "at any time", French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday following talks with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

"The Greek authorities have opted for courageous measures to address the situation concerning their public finances," said Sarkozy.

"A support plan has been approved by all members of the eurozone. We are ready to activate it at any time to come to Greece's aid," he said at a joint news conference at the Elysee presidential palace.

The leaders spoke in Paris as financial markets sent a strong message that they had little faith in the IMF-EU rescue scheme aimed for Greece.

Greek bond yields jumped to more than 7.5 percent, the highest readings since the country joined the euro in 2001, the stock exchange in Athens plunged 5.0 percent and the euro fell further against the dollar.

"Greece is part of the eurozone. We have a responsibility to support Greece and without this, there will be a negative impact on the euro and the eurozone," warned Berlusconi.

Sarkozy said it was up to Greece and its eurozone partners to decide whether the time had come to act, based on a recommendation from the European Central Bank and the European Commission.

Greece has to find around 11.5 billion euros by next month to cover its debts, and markets remain sceptical over whether it will be able to achieve massive budget cutbacks imposed by the EU.

EU president Herman van Rompuy told major European dailies Friday that the European Union was ready to intervene alongside the IMF if Greece asks for help dealing with its debt crisis.

Italy's foreign minister Franco Frattini on nuclear cooperation with France

  

Date created : 2010-04-09

  • EUROPEAN UNION

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