Eurozone finance ministers meet to thrash out second bailout package to Athens

13:20, July 12, 2011      

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Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan (L) talks with the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Jean-Claude Trichet (R) before an Economic and finance (EcoFin) Council Ministers meeting in Brussels, capital of Belgium, July 11, 2011. (Xinhua/Thierry Monasse)

Eurozone finance ministers met on Monday to thrash out a second bailout package to Greece amid concerns of spill-over of the debt crisis to Itlay, a much bigger economy in the single currency bloc.

"We have put in the place what was necessary for Greece and now we will swiftly, but without undue haste, negotiate a new programme for Greece. We're on the right track," German Finance Ministers Wolfgang Schaeuble said before the talks.

The ministers are scheduled to discuss key parameters of the second bailout package to Athens after the country had to seek financial aid from the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last year.

As a precondition for the new rescue plan, some member states led by Germany and the Netherlands have demanded that the private sector take part in the efforts.

"As I said last week, substantial private sector involvement is for the Netherlands and Germany a precondition," Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees De Jager said.

"We do pursue a voluntary basis but it has to be substantial private sector involvement. That's our commitment and also our parliament that demands it," said the Dutch minister.

As the ministers thrash out the new package, concerns of spill-over of the crisis to Italy has intensified after yields on Italian 10-year bonds increased to 5.4 percent following a sharp drop of 3.5 percent of the country's stocks last Friday.

Earlier on Monday, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy convened a meeting of top EU officials, including European Central Bank (ECB) President Jean-Claude Tricket, Eureopan Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs to discuss the second bailout package to Greece.

Although Van Rompuy's spokesman said that it's not an emergency meeting on Italy, the southern European country, with a debt to GDP ratio of 119 percent in 2010, is widely expected to be a key topic.

Schaeuble insisted before Monday's talks that Italy would not be another problem case, saying "I have no doubt that Italy will take the right decisions."

Source: Xinhua

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