EU bickering held back support for Greece -Greek PM

ATHENS, Feb 12 (BestGrowthStock) – Greek Prime Minister George
Papandreou on Friday blamed bickering among EU bodies for
delaying support for his country and promised to speed up work
to resolve a fiscal crisis shaking the euro zone.

Papandreou thanked EU peers for pledging political support
to debt-ridden Greece during a special summit on Thursday but
said this had come late in its battle with financial markets.

“Greece is not a political nor an economic superpower to
fight this battle alone. In the last months, the European Union
has given its political support … but in the battle against
impressions and the psychology of the market it appeared, to say
the least, timid,” he told a televised cabinet meeting.

Greece shocked markets when the newly elected socialists
revealed in October the budget deficit would reach 12.7 percent
of GDP in 2009, three times over original estimates. Greek bonds
and stocks took a pounding amid fears of a debt crisis.

The EU offered political backing but no concrete bailout
plan for Greece on Thursday. EU finance ministers will discuss
the issue again next week.

Papandreou said that in the past few months, the EU had
supported Greece’s deficit-cutting plan but was less effective
in forging a common stance in the face of market pressure.

“There was lack of coordination among the various bodies of
the EU — the Commission, the member states, the ECB — and even
differences of opinion within these bodies,” he said. “All this
has undermined our credibility even within the European Union
… all this has not helped our position in the markets.”

Papandreou also accused EU bodies of not assuming their
responsibility for failing to monitor the previous conservative
government, which he blamed for manipulating data and setting
Greece on a destructive course.

“There was an effort by many in the European Union to hide
from their responsibilities behind Greece: the responsibility of
the European Union, the Commission, and even Eurostat to be
alert and point out to the previous government on what a
slipperly slope it was,” he said.

Papandreou said the crisis was a major test not just for
Greece but for the whole of the EU and vowed his country would
honour the bloc’s support by working hard on its fiscal plan.

“This battle is not over … Greece will be the source of
all evils if we don’t implement our plan,” he said. “It is our
duty to prove by our actions that we will fulfill our
commitments.”

Investing Analysis

(Editing by Myra MacDonald)

EU bickering held back support for Greece -Greek PM