France 'determined' to support euro, Greece: Sarkozy

29th April 2010, Comments 0 comments

France is "fully determined" to support both Greece and the euro as Athens tries to bring its mountain of debt under control, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told AFP on Thursday.

Sarkozy said in an interview during a state visit to China that France and Germany were in agreement on how to handle the debt crisis, which rattled stock markets and the common European currency in recent days.

"France is fully determined to support the euro, and to support Greece," Sarkozy told AFP and French newspaper Le Parisien, following his talks with China's top legislator Wu Bangguo.

The French president said the plan put together by Athens to solve its debt problems was "credible", adding: "We have confidence in the Greek government and we're working flat out so all this can be put into place without delay.

"France will fully play its part," he said.

Greece faces a May 19 default deadline to secure new funds.

Officials have said that talks on a 120-billion-euro (160-billion-dollar) bailout deal for Greece are nearly complete, and markets rebounded Thursday on signs that Germany, Europe's biggest economy, was now supporting the bailout.

Amid lingering fears that the debt crisis could spread, US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Union called for resolute action by Greece to control spending.

Sarkozy said he and Merkel were in constant contact over the issue, and in "total agreement" on how to handle it.

"This issue is not just about Greece. It's about the euro, our common currency. We're very attached to it -- it has created obligations for us all and a need for solidarity, and we'll take responsibility for that," he said.

The French president also warned that speculation on financial markets would not be tolerated.

"France is in a position to fulfil its obligations in the fight against speculation," Sarkozy said.

"We will not allow speculators to act as they wish to destabilise one country or another."

© 2010 AFP

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