HIGHLIGHTS-Euro zone leaders’ meeting on Greece

BRUSSELS, May 8 (BestGrowthStock) – The following are comments by
euro zone leaders and other officials as they met on Friday to
agree on a bailout for debt-stricken Greece.

LUXEMBOURG PRIME MINISTER JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER

“We have decided that there must be progress in budgetary
consolidation. By next Sunday the (European) Commission will
make a recommendation for a consolidation and stabilisation
mechanism for the euro zone.”

FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY

“The euro zone is going through the worst crisis since its
creation.”

“The leaders of the euro zone have decided to do everything
in their power to ensure the stability and unity of the currency
union.”

“The leaders have decided to put in place a European
intervention mechanism to preserve the stability of the euro
zone.”

“The decisions taken will have immediate application, from
the point that financial markets open on Monday morning.”

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL

“We came to the conclusion that the systemic effects against
the euro can be felt.”

“We have established that there is a high amount of
speculation against the euro in general.”

GREEK PRIME MINISTER GEORGE PAPANDREOU

“For the past seven months we have shown time and again our
determination to tackle our country’s problems … embark on
reforms to make our economy more competitive, viable and make
our society more transparent.”

“We have taken difficult decisions.”

“We have taken these decisions for Greece. We have taken
these decisions for Europe.”

“Today’s meeting marked the final stage of this process.”

“In the following days Greece will receive the first
tranche.”

“This will allow us to implement our programme and our
reforms, without being prey to the daily gyrations of the
markets. Today’s meeting also reconfirmed something else, that
the need to safeguard the euro zone goes beyond Greece’s
problems.”

“That’s why the decisions we have taken show our common
determination to work together and doing so safeguard the
stability of our common currency in Europe and also safeguard
the stability of Europe itself. So that Europe can go beyond the
crisis.”

“In today’s summit and the decision that this summit has
taken, euro zone countries have proven they support Greece in
this difficult moment.”

EU COMMISSION PRESIDENT JOSE MANUEL BARROSO

On European Central Bank:

“I have never made interference to what the bank will do.”
“We never made public comments on what the ECB should do or
not do.”

“We fully support the ECB in its actions to support the
stability of the euro area.”

On financial stability, Greece:

“We will do whatever it takes to safeguard the financial
stability not only of Greece but the whole euro area.”

“We need deeper fiscal consolidation, and the (European)
Commission will implement the rules rigorously.”

“Second, we will also immediately act to plug the gaps in
our economic coordination.”

“The European Commission will present concrete proposals for
a European stabilisation mechanism to preserve financial
stability in Europe. This proposal will be presented to an
Ecofin meeting next Sunday, May 9.”

“We also agreed to reinforce surveillance and to increase
economic policy coordination. We will come with some proposals
around these objectives next Wednesday, May 12.”

“What we can say is that the proposal for that mechanism …
will be done under the existing financial possibilities
in the community budget.”

“We trust the European Central Bank will take the necessary
measures but it’s up to them to decide.”

“We will defend the euro whatever it takes. We have several
instruments at our disposal and we will use them.”

“We will also immediately act to plug the gaps in our
economic coordination.”

“It is true that the recent (instability) in the financial
markets has made this even more urgent.”

EU PRESIDENT HERMAN VAN ROMPUY

“We are facing exceptional financial circumstances In the
current crisis, we reaffirm our commitment to ensure the
stability, unity and integrity of the euro area.

All institutions in the euro area, the Council, the
Commission and the European Central Bank as well as all euro
area member states, agree to use the full range of means
available to ensure the stability of the euro area.

Today, we agree on the following:

First, consolidation of public finances is a priority for
all of us. And we will take all measures needed to meet our
fiscal targets this year and in the years ahead in line with the
excessive deficit procedures.

Each one of us is ready, depending on the situation of his
country, to take the necessary measures to accelerate
consolidation and to ensure the sustainability of public
finances.

The situation will be reviewed by the Ecofin council on the
basis of a Commission assessment by the end of June at the
latest.

We have asked the Commission and the Council to strictly
enforce the recommendations addressed to member states under the
growth and stability pact.

Second, we fully support the European Central Bank in its
actions to ensure the stability of the euro area.

Taking into account the exceptional circumstances, the
Commission will propose a European stabilisation mechanism to
preserve the financial stability in Europe. It will be submitted
to an extraordinary Ecofin meeting this Sunday, May 9.

We have decided to strengthen the governance of the euro
area. In the context of the taskforce by the president of the
European Council, we are prepared to broaden and strengthen
economic surveillance and policy coordination in the euro area,
including by paying close attention to debt levels and
competitiveness developments.

Second, reinforce rules and procedures for surveillance of
euro area member states, including through strengthening of the
stability and growth pact and more effective sanctions.

Third, create a robust framework for crisis management,
respecting the principles of member states’ own budgetary
responsibilities.

Regulation of financial markets and the fight against
speculation, that was the fourth item.

The current market turmoil highlights need to make rapid
progress on financial market regulation and supervision.”

BELGIAN PRIME MINISTER YVES LETERME

“We are going to exchange views about how we can act more
quickly and more efficiently than in the last two to three
months. In the medium to long term we need an economic
government in the euro zone.”

Asked whether there was a need to worry about
Spain/Portugal:

“For the moment it is only the Greek dossier on the table
but we should think about how we can act quickly and more
efficiently in the future.”

GREEK PRIME MINISTER GEORGE PAPANDREOU

“The Greek people have endured the strain of the economic
crisis during the last few months, yet both the government and
the Greek people are absolutely determined to change the path for
Greece to one of stability and growth.”

“Only yesterday, we took very strong … measures …
showing the will to move forward. And we are determined to move
forward. We have done our part.”

“At the same time there is unprecedented volatility
throughout the world, in the world economy. That is why today’s
meeting here in Brussels is so important.”

“We will reaffirm our confidence in our economies and our
common currency, and that gives a very important message for the
global economic recovery, a recovery that will bring back
growth, jobs, welfare to our people, to our citizens, to our
countries and to all of Europe.”

“We can do this, we must do this, we will do this together.”

AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR WERNER FAYMANN

“I would be in favour of building a European monetary fund.
We expect that with the measures we have taken on Greece that we
will avert problems such as in Spain or Portugal. In particular,
when it comes to pushing back speculation that makes a big
problem out of a small one. We don’t expect that the measures
for today set an example for the next five steps.”

“I cannot imagine withdrawing the voting rights of a country
on all subjects related to financial issues.”

“Treaty changes might come up at the end of the debate and
not at the start.”

“We have weak spots in the euro zone because of the various
problems individual countries have. And instead of being strong
enough together to get out of this, there are debates going on
that make the problems even harder. It shouldn’t be the case
that we cannot follow up by putting out the fire when others are
constantly fanning it by throwing oil on to it by speculating.”

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL

“First, we must speed up the regulation of the financial
markets. Time is running out, this has to happen quickly.”

“Second, not only Greece has to consolidate its budget but
all of us have to work to implement the Stability and Growth
Pact (EU budget rules) quickly.”

“Third, we have to make provisions for the stability of the
euro by stating firmly that it is our common currency, but also
by sharpening the Stability and Growth Pact, including possible
treaty changes. In my view there is no other way.”

Investment Advice

HIGHLIGHTS-Euro zone leaders’ meeting on Greece