UPDATE 1-EU’s Van Rompuy: euro zone to guard stability

* Euro zone to act to guard financial stability if needed

* Greece must cut budget gap by 4 percentage points in 2010

* More austerity needed, to be outlined by EU Commission

BRUSSELS, Feb 11 (BestGrowthStock) – The euro zone will take
coordinated action if necessary to safeguard its financial
stability, European Union President Herman Van Rompuy said on
Thursday as EU leaders discussed how to help debt-laden Greece.

“Euro area member states will take determined and
coordinated action if needed to safeguard stability in the euro
area as a whole. The Greek government has not requested any
financial support,” Van Rompuy told reporters.

He was speaking after a meeting with several top officials
from the 16-country euro currency area at which they agreed on a
deal to help Greece with its debt problems.

Van Rompuy said Athens had to implement all agreed
deficit-cutting measures to reduce its budget gap by 4
percentage points in 2010, as recommended by the executive
European Commission.

More steps will be needed, he said.

“The Commission will closely monitor the implementation of
the recommendations in liaison with the European Central Bank
and will propose needed additional measures, drawing on the
expertise of the International Monetary Fund,” Van Rompuy said.

A first assessment will be carried out in March, he said.

“All euro area members must conduct sound national policies
in line with the agreed rules. We have a shared responsibility
for the economic and financial stability in the area,” he said
in a statement before meeting with the 27 EU leaders.

“In this context we fully support the efforts of the Greek
government and their commitment to do whatever is necessary
including adopting additional measures to ensure that the
ambitious targets set in the stability programme for 2010 and
the following years are met,” he said.

Shortly before his statement, Van Rompuy said several key
euro zone officials had reached a deal to help Greece.

The agreement was forged in talks between Van Rompuy,
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, French
President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel,
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and Greek
Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and
Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker were also present.

“There is an agreement on the Greek situation. We will
communicate now the agreement to the other leaders,” Van Rompuy
told reporters.

Investing Analysis

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, Noah Barkin and Bate Felix,
editing by Dale Hudson)

UPDATE 1-EU’s Van Rompuy: euro zone to guard stability