European Leaders Discuss Greek Debt Crisis

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At a European Summit in Brussels, European leaders discuss ways to overcome the Greek financial crisis. They say help is on the way if the Greek parliament adopts all reforms asked for by the EU. This report from our correspondent in Brussels.

European Heads of states and governments gathered in Brussels, Belgium at a European Summit last Thursday and Friday. Dominating discussions was the Greek debt crisis.

Showing their commitment to stabilizing the Euro zone, all heads of states agreed to directly support Greece financially with 1 billion euros.

The money comes from existing European Funds and is not part of the EU ordered austerity program that will provide Greece the ‘bail-out’ money it urgently needs.

[José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission]:
“I want us to use every available possibility to stimulate jobs and growth in Greece. Fiscal consolidation is indispensable, structural reforms are indispensable, the privatizing program as well. But we have to make it clear that this is a contribution for growth. And I have presented this initiative after a consultation with Prime Minister Papandreou to look at how we can use the existing European funds, structural funds in Greece so that they maximize their immediate impact on growth and jobs.”

To count on more financial support from Europe and the IMF, Greece must make spending cuts of 28 billion euros. The program still has to be approved by the Greek parliament next week.

[Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council]:
“A comprehensive reform package should be agreed upon with the commission, in liaison with the ECB and IMF and the adoption by the Greek parliament of the key laws on the fiscal strategy and privatization must be finalized as a matter of urgency in the coming days.”