FACTBOX-Policymakers’ comments on Greek rescue talks

April 27 (BestGrowthStock) – Market pressure on Greece has
intensified since it asked for emergency financial help from the
the European Union and the International Monetary Fund on
Friday. Following are recent comments from policymakers on Greek
rescue talks.

JUERGEN KOPPELIN, GERMANY’S FREE DEMOCRATS (FDP), JUNIOR
COALITION PARTNER

ON WHETHER GREECE COULD TEMPORARILY LEAVE THE EURO

“One may have to say no (to aid) if Greece does not meet
conditions and the country just comes along to get money under
more favourable terms from the euro zone than from banks,” he
told Deutschlandfunk radio.

Asked if a German “no” meant that Greece would no longer get
any money, he said: “That can’t be ruled out, right up to the
point where Greece would have to leave the euro zone for a time.

“This is not (monetary union) breaking up. The Greek
currency could be depreciated. That could even help them with
exports.”

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR

ON GREEK NEED TO TAKE TOUGH MEASURES, STABILISE EURO

“Germany will help if the appropriate conditions are met.
That will take a few more days,” she said.

“If Greece is ready to accept tough measures, not just in
one year but over several years, then we have a good chance to
secure the stability of the euro for us all,” added Merkel.

“What’s needed now is a quick response for the benefit of
the euro as a whole… We don’t need any uncertainty. We need
certainty on the basis of clear guidelines and responsibilities
for Greece but also on the basis of our own German interests —
to have a stable euro.”

CHRISTINE LAGARDE, FRENCH ECONOMY MINISTER

ON THE NEED FOR STRICTER CONTROL

“It’s a cocktail of indulgence and great strictness. We want
to stabilise. But that doesn’t prevent us from being firm, and
we will need to watch the results very carefully,” she was
quoted as saying in French newspaper Journal du Dimanche.

“With its incorrect data and unsuitable economic policies,
Greece hasn’t honoured its commitments. We will need stricter
control mechanisms to make sure we don’t fall into a bottomless
pit.”

GEORGE PROVOPOULOS, BANK OF GREECE GOVERNOR

ON GREECE’S NEED FOR FINANCIAL AID

“The use of this mechanism will play an important positive
role in overcoming the crisis. Under no circumstances, however,
should the existence of the mechanism lead to complacency or a
relaxation of efforts.”

ON GREECE’S NEED FOR ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL REFORM

“In order to bring about a definitive reversal of the
negative trends, we must surpass ourselves and favourably
surprise markets, by achieving even greater improvements than
the ones projected,” he said in a report for the central bank’s
annual assembly.

ON THE NEED TO CUT THE DEFICIT

“It will be of crucial importance … if fiscal
consolidation on the expenditure side progresses even further
than currently planned and achieves a deficit reduction this
year of more than 5 percent of GDP.”

LUCAS PAPADEMOS, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK VICE-PRESIDENT

ON THE NEED FOR GREEK REFORM

“It is essential that the economic programme currently being
prepared by the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF
together with the Greek authorities specifies comprehensive
fiscal measures and structural reforms that will address the
root causes of Greece’s fiscal imbalances and structural
weaknesses, so as to ensure the sustainability of its public
finances and improve the country’s international
competitiveness,” he told a European parliament committee.

YVES MERSCH, ECB GOVERNING COUNCIL MEMBER

ON THE ROLE OF SPECULATION IN THE GREEK DEBT CRISIS

“I was surprised by increasing speculation on the capacity
of Greece to honour its debt. It has assumed proportions that
have nothing to do with the healthy functioning of the markets.
Speculation has played a major role,” he told Belgium’s L’Echo.

ON GREECE’S AUSTERITY PLANS

“The public deficit is expected to fall by 30 percent in
2010 compared to last year. It’s enormous! I would like to know
other countries capable for such an effort,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the scope of this effort has suffered from a
communication that I would not describe as optimal, neither from
Greece nor from Europe. Markets have been disrupted by
indiscriminate declarations at all levels. This is a lesson in
what not to do.”

NORBERT BARTHLE, BUDGETARY SPOKESMAN FOR GERMANY’S RULING
CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS (CDU)

ON URGING IMF, ECB FOR “HAIRCUTS” ON GREEK DEBT

“We will certainly bring that up,” he told Reuters.

“That would mean whoever bought Greek bonds wouldn’t get 100
percent of their value but say only 80, 90 or 70 percent — it
depends,” he said.

ON WHETHER GREECE SHOULD LEAVE THE EURO

“We can’t force them out, and if we urged Greece to leave it
would have a major impact on the stability of the euro and
confidence in the euro zone as a whole,” he said.

MARCO BUTI, DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF ECONOMIC AND MONETARY
AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT AT THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

ON THE POSSIBILITY OF GREEK DEBT RESTRUCTURING

“Let me be very clear — there is not going to be debt
restructuring as part of the programme. This has been one of the
problems that have created uncertainty in the markets,” he told
a panel discussion. “Having a programme will help a lot — it
will take away the lingering doubt of debt restructuring.”

GEORGE PAPACONSTANTINOU, GREEK FINANCE MINISTER

ON PROHIBITIVE MARKET CONDITIONS FOR GREEK BORROWING

“There is a crucial date for Greece and it is May 19, the
day when it must repay a maturing bond of about 9 billion euros.
Until then our borrowing needs are covered but conditions in
markets today are totally prohibitive,” he told a parliamentary
committee on economic affairs.

“The Greek people’s efforts are in danger of being cancelled
because of our huge cost of borrowing.”

ON DEMAND FOR SPECIFIC TIMETABLES

“We are negotiating specific measures to reduce the deficit
over the next few years. We are negotiating which of them will
be on the revenue side, on the spending side, and at what pace
they will be implemented.”

LUIS AMADO, PORTUGUESE FOREIGN MINISTER

ON WHETHER GREEK DEBT PROBLEMS COULD SPREAD TO PORTUGAL

“Obviously, we are worried about the situation on the
financial markets, but as we have underlined many times, the
Portuguese situation is not quite comparable with the Greek
situation,” he told Reuters in an interview.

“We are not in such a critical situation as Greece. We
didn’t cheat with our statistics. They are reliable for a long
time, and our imbalances at the macroeconomic level are not so
deep.”

AXEL WEBER, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK GOVERNING COUNCIL MEMBER

ON THE TIMING OF A GREEK RESCUE DEAL

“There is an ambitious target to finish them sometime soon,
maybe as early as the end of this week, and I’m pretty sure the
program will then start to be implemented,” he told CNBC TV.

ON WHETHER THE GREEK CRISIS UNDERMINES EURO’S CREDIBILITY

“If you look at the perception of the euro in international
financial markets, the euro is viewed as a strong currency,” he
said. “There is no credibility problem of the currency.”

Stock Market Investing

(Compiled by Lin Noueihed)

FACTBOX-Policymakers’ comments on Greek rescue talks