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Papademos Rejects Call for Special EU Commissioner for Greece

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos rejected a call to appoint a special European Union official to oversee Greece’s economy, hours before euro-area finance chiefs are due to discuss the nation’s rescue package.

Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker, who leads the group of finance ministers from the 17-nation region, called yesterday for an EU commissioner to take charge of rebuilding the Greek economy. The priority is the success of the second bailout for the indebted nation, he told the European Parliament in Brussels.

“We welcome the support of the European Commission,” Papademos said at a Brussels press briefing with the president of the commission, Jose Barroso. “This is sufficient -- our own work with the coordination of the commission -- to ensure the effective and full implementation of the program.”

Barroso said that the Greek crisis is a “priority for the commission; not only for one commissioner.” The “crucial part” of implementing reforms is in the hands of the Greek authorities, he said.

“It is an illusion to think that someone outside Greece is going to solve the problems of Greece,” Barroso said.

Euro-area finance ministers will discuss the second Greek rescue program at a gathering led by Juncker today in Brussels. That meeting, which will precede a summit of the 27 EU leaders, probably will finalize the 130 billion-euro ($174 billion) package, a European official said yesterday on condition of anonymity.

Greece committed to 3.2 billion euros of extra austerity measures and negotiated terms for the biggest debt restructuring in history to secure the new financing.

Papademos said the program for Greece “would be implemented by the Greek government and the Greek authorities.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jones Hayden in Brussels at jhayden1@bloomberg.net

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

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