French finance chief hopeful EU will save Greece
The French finance minister, Francois Baroin, said in Washington Monday that he was optimistic that the European Union would pull together to rescue Greece from a debt default.
Baroin stressed that France would not support a solution involving a "credit event" -- a limited default -- by the fellow eurozone country.
"I am confident," Baroin said of the 17-nation eurozone, as he spoke at a news conference in the US capital.
"There are a lot of discussions on the telephone. People are working hard on a solution which allows -- and this is the aim of France's position -- the avoidance of a (sovereign) default or a credit event," he said.
EU leaders are under pressure to forge a second rescue plan for Greece at a summit Thursday in Brussels.
"France will not go along with a solution which leads to a credit event, in other words, a failure to service debt," Baroin added.
Baroin's visit to Washington came as the euro and global stock markets fell while the borrowing costs of Italy and Spain, two eurozone nations in the line of fire, soared to euro-era record levels amid debt contagion fears.
He is scheduled to meet Monday night with US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who earlier Monday urged European leaders to "work more forcefully to contain the risk of an escalating crisis in Europe.
"They have the capacity to manage this in a way that doesn't add to the broader burdens in the global economy, and of course we want them to do that," he told the US financial network CNBC.
© 2011 AFP