Sarkozy confident Greece can emerge from crisis
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday it had been an error to admit Greece to the eurozone in 2001 but said he was confident the country could emerge from its debt crisis.
"It was an error because Greece entered with false (economic) figures... it was not ready," he said during a nationally televised interview on the day European leaders clinched a deal to tackle the eurozone debt crisis.
But asked if he had confidence that Greece can emerge from the crisis, Sarkozy said: "Yes... we have no other choice".
The European deal will address the debt mountain in Greece, cutting it by 100 billion euros in an agreement between the eurozone and private creditor banks to take a 50 percent loss on their holdings.
"We had to face up to all this. If the euro had exploded last night, all of Europe would have exploded," Sarkozy said. "If Greece had defaulted, there would have been a domino effect carrying everyone away."
"If there had not been an agreement last night, it was not just Europe that would have sunk into catastrophe, it was the whole world," he said.
"We took important decisions yesterday that avoided catastrophe."
© 2011 AFP