WRAPUP 4-Greece races for rescue, some fear not enough

* Greek finance minister meets with IMF, Europeans

* Canada cites G20 fear 45 bln euros won’t be enough

* IMF members vow to tackle sovereign debt problems
(Adds IMF steering committee statement, analyst comment)

By Lesley Wroughton and Louise Egan

WASHINGTON, April 24 (BestGrowthStock) – Finance leaders scrambled
to secure aid for debt-stricken Greece on Saturday and Canada
cautioned that some European countries feared the 45 billion
euros ($60 billion) under consideration was not enough.

Talks over Greece dominated annual International Monetary
Fund and World Bank meetings, a day after Athens bowed to
market pressure and asked to tap a rescue package from the
European Union and the IMF.

“Some countries think it’s not enough,” Canadian Finance
Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters when asked about the
amount of aid being negotiated.

“Some of the G20 countries, including some of the European
countries,” he said when asked which countries were concerned.
“There is concern about making sure that the package is enough
so that it’s a one-time event.”

Flaherty said Group of 20 rich and emerging nations agreed
that the Greece crisis could be contained, if dealt with
quickly, with little risk of a spread across Europe.

Greece’s woes dampened optimism over a faster-than-expected
economic recovery that otherwise might have been cause for
congratulation at G20 and IMF meetings this weekend.

It focused attention instead on poor public finances across
the advanced economies, a problem IMF Managing Director
Dominique Strauss-Kahn listed among the top two threats to the
global recovery.

Strauss-Kahn declined to answer repeated questions from
reporters about Greece, saying only that details of the package
would be disclosed after negotiations in Athens are completed.


Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou earlier met
with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner who stressed the
need for a quick response to the crisis.

“Secretary Geithner encouraged them to move quickly to put
in place a package of strong reforms and substantial concrete
financial support,” the U.S. Treasury said in a statement.

That hinted at growing fears the Greek turmoil could lead
to a broader crisis with state debt and must be cut off before
it infects other euro-zone economies like Portugal and Spain.

Boris Schlossberg, director of currency research at foreign
exchange trading firm GFT, said Greece was running out of

“If there’s no statement, if there’s no coordination, if
they don’t get support from Germany, for example, the euro will
erase all the gains from Friday,” he said.

One of the obstacles to getting aid to Greece is that any
money from Germany — the biggest single national contributor
to the rescue package — requires parliamentary approval.

There is strong public opposition in Germany to the aid
package which is a big issue ahead of a key regional election
on May 9, 10 days before Greece has to repay a bond.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has invited
parliamentary leaders for talks in Berlin on Monday to try to
speed up the process. Schaeuble did not travel to Washington
for the annual IMF and World Bank meetings due to health
reasons, sending his deputy instead.


British Finance Minister Alistair Darling, asked by
reporters if Germany was holding up a speedy resolution of the
Greek crisis, noted Berlin was not represented at the meetings
in Washington at the ministerial level.

“No one’s criticizing anyone,” Darling said. “What I do
think is that it is absolutely imperative that not only do the
IMF reach agreement with Greece as quickly as possible but it’s
also essential that the euro zone countries fulfill the
obligations they’ve already agreed to in relation to making
funds available to Greece.”

Many Germans are angry at the prospect of bailing out
Greece, which has racked up a massive budget deficit and
admitted past debt data were inaccurate. Some German newspapers
on Saturday said the only option for Greece was to drop out of
the single currency euro zone.

Papaconstantinou also met European Central Bank President
Jean-Claude Trichet and Olli Rehn, the European Union’s
Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner on Saturday.

Rehn said on Friday that financing for Greece should be
ready in early May. It would be the first financial rescue of a
member of the euro zone. Time is pressing with an 8.5 billion
euro bond due to mature on May 19.

While Greece was clearly the hottest topic, it was not
specifically mentioned in the communique released by the IMF’s
steering committee following Saturday’s meeting.

In a statement that hit all the high notes of a familiar
tune, the IMF member countries agreed to ensure sustainable
public finances, address sovereign debt risks and adopt
policies that would help rebalance the global economy.

It offered no new proposals on how best to prevent a repeat
of the financial crisis, which triggered the worst recession in
the United States since World War Two.

(Additional reporting by Emily Kaiser, Sumeet Desai, Louise
Egan, Vivianne Rodrigues and Paul Eckert; editing by William
Schomberg) (([email protected]; Tel:
1-202-898-8317; Reuters Messaging:
[email protected]))

WRAPUP 4-Greece races for rescue, some fear not enough