EU’s Juncker Expects Greek Government to Take Quick Action on Debt Bailout
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said he expects Greece’s new government quickly to affirm its commitment to implementing the terms of a second international bailout.
“I expect that the new government will make clear very soon that what was decided on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 here in Brussels will be adopted down to the last detail,” Juncker told reporters in Brussels today before chairing a meeting of euro- area finance ministers.
Ministers convene at 5 p.m. local time for talks overshadowed by waning political fortunes of leaders in Greece and Italy. Greek premier George Papandreou agreed to step down to make way for the formation of a unity government. In Rome, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi faced pressure to quit as his majority unraveled before a key parliamentary vote tomorrow. He repeated that he plans to stay on through 2013.
The finance chiefs will work on plans to increase the muscle of the region’s temporary bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility. Leveraging the fund would aim to ramp up spending capacity to 1 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion).
“I don’t expect we’ll come to any decisions today,” Juncker said. “We now have to be informed about the exact situation in Greece, as well as about the intentions of the Italian government.”
Ministers “will tackle the subjects of Greece and Italy” today and “come closer to the detailed questions of leveraging,” he said. “This is an insanely complicated overall process,” including from a legal point of view. “I don’t think there’ll be any final commitments on this today.”
Juncker said he’ll meet with Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos today to discuss the situation in Greece.
“I am quite confident that now the situation in Greece is developing in the right direction,” he said, adding he doesn’t expect a decision today on when Greece will receive a sixth disbursement of funds from a first rescue package implemented last year.