Eurozone nations have urged Greece to announce major deficit-control plans by the middle of March, in a bid to add teeth to last week’s vague pledge of support for Greece:
Reuters: “Financial markets are completely wrong if they think they can destroy Greece,” Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg’s prime minister and chairman of the finance ministers’ meeting in Brussels, told a news conference.
He and others went to lengths to say Greece had 30 days to prove its plans were off to a convincing start and he said that Athens could count on unspecified support if that was not the case and markets refused to give it breathing space.
Greece would have to prove on a day-to-day basis between now and March 16 that it was on track and, if short of the mark, come up with proposals for further measures to meet its target of a four-percentage-point cut in the deficit this year.
Meanwhile, Greece doesn’t appear eager to take action or take responsibility for its debt problems. Instead, they are resisting calls for greater action, blaming speculators, and implicitly asking for a bailout:
[Emphasis added]: Papaconstantinou said urging Greece to do more right now made no sense and suggested ministers develop on the pledges of support that leaders made after emergency talks last Thursday. “If we announce new (Greek fiscal) measures today, will that stop markets attacking Greece?” he asked.
“My guess is what will stop markets attacking Greece is a further, more explicit message that makes operational what has been decided last Thursday at the European Council (summit).”
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