merkel decide fast greeks
Last Updated : GMT 18:18:47
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Merkel: Decide fast, Greeks

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Merkel: Decide fast, Greeks

Athens - Arabstoday

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Greece on Monday to make up its mind fast on accepting the painful terms for a new EU/IMF bailout, but the country’s political leaders responded by delaying their decision for yet another day.Failure to strike a deal to secure the €130 billion ($170 billion) rescue — much of which Germany will fund — risks pushing Athens into a chaotic debt default which could threaten its future in the eurozone.Speaking in Paris, Merkel expressed the exasperation spreading among eurozone leaders at seemingly endless wrangling in Athens that has yet to produce a definitive acceptance of the austerity and reform conditions demanded by the lenders.“I honestly can’t understand how additional days will help. Time is of the essence. A lot is at stake for the entire eurozone,” she told a news conference with President Nicolas Sarkozy.But leaders of the three parties in the coalition government appeared to need at least one additional day. The office of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, a former central banker who heads a government of politicians, said that a meeting of leaders from the conservative, socialist and far-right parties due on Monday had been postponed to today.A statement issued shortly after Merkel spoke gave no reason for the delay. However, it said Papademos was to hold further talks with the “troika” of lenders — the European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF — later on Monday.The party leaders, positioning themselves for a likely general election in April, have baulked at accepting another package of deeply unpopular wage and pension reductions, job cuts and tougher tax enforcement measures.Patience wearing thin.Merkel made clear that her patience was wearing thin on a deal that affects not only Greece but the wider currency bloc, which fears that a default would hit much larger economies such as Spain and Italy.In a fresh sign of mistrust, the German leader said she and Sarkozy agreed Greece should deposit revenue to meet future interest payments in a special escrow account to guarantee that creditors were paid consistently.“We want Greece to stay in the euro,” she said. But she added: “I want to make clear once again that there can be no deal if the troika proposals are not implemented. They are on the table... Something needs to happen quickly.”“A lot is at stake for the entire eurozone,” added Merkel, whose country is Europe’s main paymaste.This sense of urgency seemed to be weaker in Athens.An official at one coalition party said the postponement was due to the fact that the government has not yet supplied the parties with a 15-page summary of the conclusions of a meeting on Sunday of the political leaders.

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