Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said it’s in Europe’s interest to find a solution to the country’s debt crisis after finance ministers left open whether they will give the country all the funds it was promised next month under its bailout deal.
“We are determined as a country, as a government, to be on track with the program, to move forward, to do what is necessary in order to put our country into a fiscally much more viable position,” Papandreou said in Brussels today. “At the same time, we do hope that the European Union will have also the similar will.”
The Greek leader, who faces a confidence vote tomorrow, said Europe must show a “unity of purpose” to tackle a crisis that has “not only reached Greek dimensions but wider European dimensions.” European finance ministers yesterday said Greece must pass laws to cut the deficit and sell state assets. They pushed back a decision on disbursing the full 12 billion euros ($17.2 billion) promised for July.
Papandreou said he had “very constructive” discussion with European Union President Herman Van Rompuy today, adding that Greece is in a “very intricate and difficult negotiation.”
Van Rompuy said that he “underlined the need for Greece to make further efforts to address the current challenges.”
“The package of measures agreed upon by the government and the troika of fiscal consolidation, privatization and structural reforms needs to be supported above all by the Greek parliament,” he said. “This will pave the way for the next disbursement by mid-July.”
In their statement yesterday, finance ministers said the unlocking of fresh aid depends on working out “voluntary private sector involvement in the form of informal and voluntary rollovers of existing Greek debt at maturity.”
“We are working on a medium-term strategy including voluntary private-sector involvement along the lines agreed upon by the eurogroup yesterday,” Van Rompuy said. “Given the length magnitude and nature of the required reforms in Greece, national consensus is a prerequisite for success.”