EU executive, Germany insist no new Greek 'crisis'

7th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The European Commission, currently in Greece as part of an international mission assessing government budget cuts promised in exchange for a bailout, and Germany each insisted Saturday that there is no new Greek "crisis."

"This was not a 'crisis meeting on Greece,' as presented in some press reports," said a statement from Amadeu Altafaj, spokesman for European Union economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn.

A German government source in Berlin used almost identical formulation, saying there was "absolutely no crisis meeting," in a bid to ease rising market tensions in the run-up to meetings of eurozone and EU finance ministers on May 16 and 17.

Altafaj issued his comments as Europe faced up to Greek media and specialist financial reports of calls by Athens for new EU financial aid as "catastrophic" Athens finances returned to haunt stressed eurozone states from Portugal to Finland.

Speculation reached fever pitch after an unscheduled meeting of G20 eurozone states and the other bailout principals, called amid concerns expressed by the United States and the International Monetary Fund over the pace of Greek adjustment after last year's 110-billion-euro ($160-billion) emergency financial rescue.

Altafaj insisted that "press reports on a possible exit of Greece from the euro, based on unnamed sources, are simply wrong and intentionally misleading.

"Commission staff, along with ECB and IMF staff, are currently in Athens to carry out the regular review of the implementation of the Greek programme" of cuts and reforms in exchange for the bailout, and would report ahead of the eurozone meeting in Brussels, he underlined.

© 2011 AFP

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