Britain, Czechs against aid to Greece from EU mechanism
The British and Czech prime ministers agreed in Prague on Thursday that future aid to Greece should be provided from a eurozone package rather than from the EU's financial mechanism.
"We should not be using the European financial mechanism for a further bailout of Greece -- that would be quite wrong," British Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters only hours before a key EU summit.
Instead of the EU's 500-billion-euro (708-billion-dollar) financial stabilisation mechanism, future aid to Greece should lean on the eurozone's European Financial Stability Facility, he added.
His Czech counterpart Petr Necas said it would also be wrong to use the EU mechanism "for practical reasons -- it has only 15 percent of its volume left, while the EFSF is still 90 percent full."
The European debt crisis will be on the table of a two-day EU summit starting in Brussels later on Thursday, with EU heads of state and government expected to adopt a declaration on Greece and the eurozone.
The text will likely reiterate calls made by eurozone finance ministers on Monday for the Greek parliament to adopt a new set of tough austerity measures next week before it receives 12 billion euros in blocked loans.
The money, part of a 110 billion euro bailout granted by the EU and IMF last year, is vital to keep the eurozone struggler from defaulting on its huge public debt.
Cameron also reiterated that Britain, staying outside the eurozone just like the Czech Republic, was not involved in the first bailout of Greece and would hardly want to be involved in a second bailout.
"It's eurozone members who have been discussing the Greek situation, and the British... are not involved in these discussions at all, so it would be quite wrong now to ask us to contribute," he added.
© 2011 AFP