HIGHLIGHTS-Euro zone finance ministers’ meeting

MADRID, April 15 (BestGrowthStock) – The following are comments by
euro zone finance ministers and other officials on Thursday as
they arrived for their meeting the following day in Madrid.

EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK GOVERNING COUNCIL MEMBER EWALD NOWOTNY
On Greek letter on Thursday:

“There is a clear structure of the decision-making process.
This is a step that at the end of the day should lead to the
activation of the programme.”

Asked about his view on this:

“It’s positive because decisions by heads of state are not
meant to be in theory but in practice.”

On euro zone countries being able to take part in providing
loans to Greece:

“If one country at least for some time cannot take part,
this does not hinder the rest to go along.”

Asked by reporters about the potential scenario of France or
Germany not taking part, he later added:

“That would be a problem but we do not think that is a
realistic perspective.”

Asked if he was worried a German legal challenge could
derail the aid plan:

“The heads of state have been very cautious in fulfilling
all the legal requirements, so I’m quite sure that things will
go along as foreseen.”

Was he worried about International Monetary Fund involvement
in aid package threatening ECB independence?

“No, not at all because all this has been done with the
cooperation of the ECB. President (Jean-Claude) Trichet has been
part of all the decisions.”

On whether Greece has started talks towards activating its
aid mechanism:

“Greece has already started talks in that direction. It is
not just for theory, it is for practice.”

Asked again if he meant talks about activating aid:

“That’s the way I understand it.”

On whether Greece’s problems could spread to other
countries:

“I don’t think there is this perspective.”

Was he concerned that some euro zone countries could have
problems providing their share of loans to Greece?

“No, because it was unanimously approved by the heads of
state. They know what they are talking about.”

DUTCH FINANCE MINISTER JAN KEES DE JAGER

Asked whether he was concerned that aid to Greece from the
International Monetary Fund could be senior to bilateral aid,
meaning that if there was a problem aid would be repaid to the
IMF before being repaid to European countries, he said:

“No. I think the strict policy conditionality will provide
enough guarantees that both IMF as well as Eurogroup funding —
or Eurogroup member funding — will be repaid.”

EUROGROUP CHAIRMAN JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER

On potential German legal challenge to EU’s Greek aid
package:

“I’m not really concerned.”

“That’s a German affair. I don’t think it’s a real
constitutional problem in Germany, anyway the German government
has made clear that it will go through a parliamentary decision
so I don’t think there will be any problems of a dramatic size
in Germany.”

On Greece’s debt auction on Tuesday:

“It went quite well, there was, so to say, an overbooking
and the interest rate is in line with what we expected.”

On renewed widening in Greek bond spreads:

“We have to look very closely to what will happen in the
next coming days but it doesn’t help to launch any speculation
about any market reaction.”

On concerns that other countries could still follow Greece:

“I don’t think that any other country is in a position that
would be comparable to the one Greece is in.”

FINNISH FINANCE MINISTER JYRKI KATAINEN

Speaking to reporters:

“We will follow up the question of Greece, what kind of
impact this Sunday’s meeting has had so far.”

“There is not that much more we can do. We have an excellent
procedure for what to do if Greece asks for help. There is no
need to do additional measures or change decisions.”

“More interestingly, we will discuss coordination of euro
zone economic policies. We will have a starting debate on that.”

Asked whether Portugal or Spain could have problems similar
to those of Greece:

“I don’t think so, other southern countries … can do a lot
through their normal budget policy frameworks. I don’t think
there is the same type of danger.”

Asked how Greek spreads would behave:

“I think they will narrow after a while.”

Would Greece ask for help?

“It is up to Greece to decide. I will not speculate.”

“The euro is very important for all euro zone countries, we
are all in the same boat.”

“The euro has sustained quite well during this turmoil.”

Stock Market News

HIGHLIGHTS-Euro zone finance ministers’ meeting