Greece will move fast if decides to activate EU-IMF rescue plan: minister

08:48, April 20, 2010      

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Greece will move very fast once it decides to activate the support mechanism created by the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to financially assist Europe's economies in need, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said on Monday noon.

Papaconstantinou held a meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to inform him on the results of the recent Ecofin meeting in Madrid.

The Greek government would receive a new mixed group of EU-IMF experts for a new round of talks on Monday, but due to the problems of the ash of a volcano eruption in Iceland which caused delay in air flights across Europe in the past few days, the foreign delegation is expected in Athens on Wednesday.

For the next two weeks there will be a discussion on the details of the safety net Greece could use. As European partners and the IMF are expected to ask the Greek government to take additional austerity measures, labor unions prepare a new string of protests, such as the demonstration scheduled by a Left union for Monday afternoon outside the Finance Ministry in the centre of Athens.

"This discussion is very important, because it will give the possibility, if the Greek government decides to request the activation of the mechanism, to move very fast. Furthermore we continue our work on the budget, the structural reforms and all those measures that will make our economy stronger," Papaconstantinou stressed.

Analysts in Athens estimate that the activation of the EU-IMF safety net is closer, since on Monday the spread of the Greek bonds in international markets has reached beyond the 460 basis points, which is a negative record since October 1996 for Greece.

Source: Xinhua


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