IMF, ECB call for swift actions to bail out Greece

08:18, April 29, 2010      

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International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and European Central Bank (ECB) President Jean-Claude Trichet called on Wednesday for swift actions to provide much-needed aid for debt-ridden Greece.

"Every day that is lost would worsen the situation. It can also have consequences far away," Strauss-Kahn told a news conference after meeting German lawmakers in Berlin on Wednesday.

Trichet also told reporters that it is "an absolute necessity to decide very rapidly" on aid to Greece. He expressed confidence that IMF and European Commission would wrap up negotiations with Athens on the terms of the loans within a few days.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble meanwhile said that the German government would make a decision as quickly as possible pending on a successful outcome of the negotiations in Athens involving the Greek government, the IMF, the ECB and the EU Commission.

He said that the German cabinet would seek backing in the parliamentary groups for a speedy process and then would possibly pass a a corresponding draft law next Monday to enable the government-owned development bank KfW to provide loans to Greece. Germany may be able to make a final decision on aid as soon as May 7 when the upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, could approve Germany's share of the package, he said.

Strauss-Kahn and Trichet are on a diplomatic mission in Berlin to try to persuade Germany to bail out Greece.

Officials on the sidelines of high-level meetings in Berlin on Wednesday said the 45 billion euros (about 60 billion U.S. dollars) already pledged by the IMF and the European Union will be far from enough to tackle Greece's mounting debt crisis.

German television N-TV quoted Juergen Trittin, leader of the Green Party parliamentary group, as saying that the planned 45 billion euros in aid to Athens this year would be just the beginning. He cited Strauss-Kahn as telling German lawmakers on Wednesday that Greece may need as much as 120 billion euros ( about 160 billion U.S. dollars).

The IMF chief, however, declined to comment on the amount, saying that the size of Greece's rescue package has yet to be decided pending on the negotiations in Athens.

By People's Daily Online


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