Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Tunisia's Parliament votes on new Government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French court rules #burkini ban "clearly illegal"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Biden in Turkey, Colombia Peace Deal, Ethiopia Olympic Protest (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Earthquake in Italy, French Burkini Ruling (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

FOCUS

Pro-Opposition stronghold Port-Gentil feverishly awaits presidential elections

Read more

ENCORE!

Alexis Michalik: treading the boards in the footsteps of 'Edmond'

Read more

REPORTERS

Getting away with murder in DR Congo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why does Italy refuse to see the seismic risk?'

Read more

Europe

Greece angry after EU ministers fail to reach rescue deal

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-11-21

Greece's PM Antonis Samaras said the future of his country was in the balance after EU finance chiefs failed to reach a deal that would allow creditors to hand over the next batch of rescue loans to the debt-ridden country.

Greece has reacted with dismay to the European Union’s failure to agree to release vital rescue loan funds for the debt-ridden country, with the prime minister warning it was not just Greece’s future that hangs in the balance.

The delay prolongs uncertainty over the future of Greece, which faces a messy default that would threaten the entire euro currency used by 17 EU nations.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stressed that Greece has done what its creditors from the EU and International Monetary Fund required. “Our partners, along with the IMF, also must do what they have committed to doing,” he said.

He said that “it is not just the future of our country, but the stability of the entire eurozone” that depend on the success of negotiations in coming days.

France's Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici offered Samaras some hope, saying ministers were only a 'whisker' away from reaching an agreement.

Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the meeting of finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro, said the talks, which lasted nearly 12 hours, will reconvene on Monday.

It was the second consecutive meeting at which the ministers failed to agree on a deal, highlighting the depth of their divisions over how to handle Greece’s huge debt problem without reaching more deeply into the pockets of their own taxpayers.

Juncker, however, said he was optimistic that a deal could be reached.
“We are very close to a result. We see no major stumbling block,” he said. "There are technical issues and calculations to be made in coming days".

But Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, which gives Greece bailout loans alongside the eurozone, sounded a more cautious note, saying only “we have narrowed the positions.”

Investors reacted by selling the euro, which dropped from above $1.2810 to $1.2755 within a half hour. Stock markets in Asia surrendered early gains.

There has been disagreement among the ministers and the IMF on how to make Athens’ debt manageable.

The eurozone ministers are in favour of giving Greece an extra two years, to 2022, to bring its debt down to 120 percent of gross domestic product from the 176 percent forecast for this year. The IMF has resisted such an extension.

Agreement on this issue is needed for the group of creditors to pay Greece the next batch of its rescue loans, expected to amount to €44.6 billion ($57 billion).

Greece the needs the money to avoid bankruptcy.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)
 

Date created : 2012-11-21

  • GREECE

    Greece passes austerity bill amid violent protests

    Read more

  • Spain

    Spanish unions call for anti-austerity strike

    Read more

  • GREECE

    Merkel pledges support for Greece on Athens visit

    Read more

COMMENT(S)