News / Economy

    France: Greece Must Stay in Eurozone

    France’s President Francois Hollande, left, welcomes Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras at the Elysee Palace, Paris, August 25, 2012.France’s President Francois Hollande, left, welcomes Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras at the Elysee Palace, Paris, August 25, 2012.
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    France’s President Francois Hollande, left, welcomes Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras at the Elysee Palace, Paris, August 25, 2012.
    France’s President Francois Hollande, left, welcomes Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras at the Elysee Palace, Paris, August 25, 2012.
    VOA News
    French President Francois Hollande says Greece must stay in the European currency union and he has encouraged Greek leaders to make sure economic reforms they enact can be borne by the Greek people.

    Hollande met with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Paris Saturday to talk about the country's bailout plan. The French president said Greece must demonstrate the credibility of its plan for relieving its economic woes.

    Samaras said Saturday he is confident Greece will remain in the eurozone. However, he has been telling fellow European leaders that Greece must have more time to put into effect the big spending cuts that the EU insists upon in return for financial assistance.

    The meeting in Paris followed Samaras' talks in Berlin on Friday German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Both she and Hollande say they will await a progress report on Greece's reform efforts, due next month, before deciding on Athens' request for up to two more years to meet its financial goals.

    The German and French leaders both say they want Greece to stay in the eurozone.

    Auditors from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank will prepare the Greek progress report, and their conclusions could have an impact on the timing of the bailout package.

    The current assistance plan by the EU and IMF, valued at slightly more than $160 billion, obliges Athens to put sweeping economic reforms in effect and slash domestic spending by about $13 billion in 2013 and 2014.

    Despite 23 percent unemployment and a fifth year of recession in Greece, Samaras says his government can keep functioning until October, but the country's future solvency depends on the bailout package.

    Finance ministers of the eurozone countries are to meet in Luxembourg on October 8, 10 days before European heads of state and government meet in Brussels.

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    Comments
         
    by: Rob Swift from: Great Britain
    August 27, 2012 9:15 AM
    The economic base was always okay, but what happened was - same as here in Britain - the relations of production came to be in conflict with the means of production. Too many bureaucrats , old school boys, and bankers at the top. So with so many parasites and passengers in the driving seats, governments decided to dismantle the means of production, and take the motor out of it all to save a bit on fuel. All those levers of power are not connected to anything, and without the motor it's not going anywhere. At a time of change nothing moves. Sooner rather than later Germany and France will have to ditch the euro and get something moving again..

    by: Mike from: California
    August 25, 2012 9:03 PM
    If Greece does not exit, then Germany will have to carry their growing debt. There is NO other known solution. According to The Economist magazine, the Greek government has not reduced its very bloated headcount even yet. They simply refuse to act.

    Eventually, Italy and Spain will learn that they too do not have to reform their economies. And Germany will have to carry their debt too. This is crazy.

    Everyone expects that Greece will exit the euro, so the actual fact will not be an economic or political shock. The exit would shock Italy, Spain, and Portugal into much needed reform. The EU would benefit in the long-run.

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