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EU’s Barroso Says This Is the ‘Decisive Moment’ for Greece

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- European Commission President Jose Barroso said this is the “decisive moment” for Greece and an agreement on a debt swap and second rescue package is close.

“We want Greece to remain in the euro,” Barroso said in Brussels today, after EU Digital Affairs Commissioner Neelie Kroes told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant that there would be “absolutely no man overboard” if a country exited the euro.

“Maybe my wording isn’t entirely felicitous,” Kroes told De Volkskrant. “What is a man overboard? It’s being said that if you allow one country to exit or ask it to exit, then the whole structure collapses. But that just isn’t true.”

When asked about Kroes’s comments, commission spokesman Olivier Bailly said the EU’s position on Greece “has not changed and is very clear: we want Greece to remain in the euro area.”

Bailly said the commission is “fully confident that the euro with survive the storm and come out of the crisis stronger.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Rebecca Christie in Brussels at rchristie4@bloomberg.net; Jurjen van de Pol in Amsterdam at jvandepol@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net; James Ludden at jludden@bloomberg.net

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