EU chief urges eurozone states to implement Greek rescue

7th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

EU president Herman Van Rompuy on Wednesday urged eurozone governments to implement the new bailout for Greece swiftly, saying it was "the priority" for shaking off the debt crisis.

"The priority now is for all countries to implement what we have decided," he said in a speech at the London School of Economics.

"This is true for Greece and for others, for each individually and for our collective decisions. Implementing rather than unpicking what we have agreed is vital."

At a Brussels summit on July 21, the 17 eurozone countries agreed on a second rescue package for Greece, worth 158.6 billion euros ($223 billion), but implementing it has proved problematic.

Germany's top court on Wednesday spared the eurozone new dangers by upholding bailouts for debt-wracked nations but insisted parliament must have a bigger say in future.

European Council president Van Rompuy said there was an "emerging consensus around the idea that the eurozone be strengthened institutionally. It is natural."

He confirmed he would be making a number of proposals next month on that theme.

Despite the turbulence on the financial markets, the former Belgian prime minister stressed that "the euro remains fundamentally solid as a currency."

"Without the fiscal irresponsibility in some countries, there would never have been a crisis in the eurozone. It is as simple as that," he added.

Van Rompuy went on to warn about market pressures.

"In the first decade of the euro, the markets were asleep. Now they are awake -- and even if they are sometimes overreacting, they will not go back to sleep again," he said.

"Growth and jobs remain priorities," he added.

In mid-August, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde urged countries worldwide, especially the most developed, not to kill off growth with harsh austerity measures designed to control debt.

© 2011 AFP

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