EU leaders pledge to do what is needed to help Greece

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso Jose Manuel Barroso sad Europe was prepared to do what was necessary

European Union leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to help Greece out of its current debt woes and maintain EU financial stability.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said there was "a real will of the member states to do what is necessary".

His comments came at the end of the first day of an EU summit in Brussels.

The Greek parliament has to pass fresh austerity measures next week before the country can gain vital bail-out funds.

Greece's government is proposing additional spending cuts worth 28bn euros (£25bn) over five years.

If these are passed then Greece will get its next 12bn-euro instalment from the current 110bn euro bail-out package from fellow eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.

Without this money Greece will default on its next loan payments due in mid-July.

However, many economists think it will be difficult for Greece to avoid default at some time in the future.

Herman van Rompuy: "Required additional funding will be financed through both official and private sources"

No plan B

Also speaking at the end of the first day in Brussels, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the EU was moving to make it easier for Greece to access European Union development funds to help boost its economy.

Earlier on Thursday, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker urged Athens to meet its commitments under the bail-out programme.

"All conditions must be met," said Mr Juncker, who also chairs the groups of eurozone finance ministers. "You can't let anyone believe there is a Plan B. If Greece does what it has to do, we will do what we have to do."

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said his government was committed to pushing the austerity plans - which are deeply unpopular with the Greek people - through parliament next week.

"Greece is committed, strongly committed, to continue a very important programme for major changes, radical changes, to make our economy viable," he said.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 133.

    It seems we are constantly being told to shell out to prevent some dire consequence like bankers leaving or the Euro contracting, yet for each prop we fix another breaks. We throw good money after failed ideology and an era of blind greed. We seem to increasingly be losers in the global game yet we refuse to leave the pitch. I don't want any more of my cash spent on fear.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    It is a strange thing that nobody mentions the fact that Greece spends a greater percentage of it's GDP on arms purchases than any other European country. More than the US for that matter.
    So why not save money by reducing the armed forces?
    Because most of the money is spent in Germany or France.
    Let's have a bit of honesty Ms. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    If the £ is so wonderful and the Euro such rubbish, why has the Euro become progressively stronger than the £ during its existence (about 70p - about 90p now)? And why, at this apparently dangerous time for the Euro, has the £ has not significantly strengthened against it? The exchange rate judgement is what the MARKETS think and as any good right-winger will tell you, the markets never lie....

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    Lets look at the facts. The euro is actually one of the worlds most stable and secure currency. If we had been in the Euro, we would be the equivalent of billions better off. It was the £ and $ that collapsed, not the euro. All this talk of a euro crisis is just bitter US, UK and nationist bankers and politicians trying to artificially drag the euro down to make themselves look less stupid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    I am a 100% citizen of The EU!
    The mess that Greece is in along with Portugal & Spain has zero to do with the euro, but all to do with bad management and greedy banks. UK debt is higher than these 3 countries combined. The mess would be the same if the currency was beads.
    So stop slagging The EU, without it we would be like Chad, or Somalia, finished.


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