Dutch positive about Greek bailout talks

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Leaders of the 17 EU member countries that belong to the eurozone have started talks in Brussels over a new rescue package for the beleaguered Greek economy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met in Berlin on Wednesday evening to try and reach a compromise proposal to put to the Brussels summit. The countries with the two largest economies in the eurozone had very different ideas about the best way forward.

Dutch Minister of Finance Jan Kees de Jager is satisfied with the outcome of the Berlin meeting, as it appears that the Dutch desire for a "substantial contribution" from the banking sector, insurance companies and pension funds has been agreed in principle between France and Germany. However, the size of this contribution is still unclear.

Speaking to the Dutch parliament earlier on Thursday, following contacts with French and German officials, Mr De Jager said that eurozone governments seem to have accepted that Greece will be put on "selective default" when a new financial aid package is agreed. He said that both France and Germany no longer aim to prevent Greece partly defaulting on its debt.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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