EU voices vary on helping Greece

2010-03-23 09:06 BJT

Germany has stressed its reluctance to bail out Greece, which could force the debt-laden country to turn to the International Monetary Fund for assistance. The Eurogroup chairman said he was open to a joint aid package from the EU and IMF, but only if necessary.

The EU has been divided on how to come to the aid of Greece. Germany, the strongest economy in the Euro Zone, says there's no need to discuss emergency aid for Greece at the upcoming EU summit.

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, said, "Europe must concentrate on the strengths of individual member states and not pay attention to how the weakest is doing. This must be our rule of thumb because there is enough competition."

Merkel added that the Greek debt crisis showed that the mechanisms for enforcing budgetary discipline in the euro zone were insufficient.

Eurogroup chairman, Jean Claude Juncker, has refused to rule out IMF aid to the crisis.

Juncker said, "It is better to say that there will not be an IMF part because the euro-zone is able to resolve all its own problems. But I would not declare it a shame if we were to combine both sides, with a small contribution from the IMF and a larger contribution from eurozone bilateral aid."

Athens says it may turn to the IMF for help if the 16-country euro zone does not come up with a satisfactory stand-by proposal to reassure financial markets.

A European Central Bank policymaker said on Monday that the EU is ready to assist Greece and aid in the form of bilateral loans cannot be ruled out.

Editor: Liu Anqi | Source: