Clock is tick­ing, warns Brus­sels

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Fol­low­ing the fail­ure of Greece’s party lead­ers to agree on a com­mon strat­egy to over­come the coun­try’s eco­nomic cri­sis, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion warned that “time is run­ning out” for Athens to adopt a pro­gram to over­come its mount­ing debt prob­lems.

Brus­sels “re­grets the fail­ure of Greek party lead­ers to reach con­sen­sus on eco­nomic ad­just­ment to over­come the cur­rent debt cri­sis,” said EU Eco­nomic and Mon­e­tary Af­fairs Com­mis­sioner Olli Rehn.

“We ex­pect that the ef­forts to­wards a cross party agree­ment to sup­port the EU-IMF pro­gram will con­tinue,” added the Finn. “An agree­ment has to be found soon. Time is run­ning out.”

Rehn cre­ated a stir on the Greek po­lit­i­cal scene a few days ago when he put pres­sure on the gov­ern­ment and op­po­si­tion par­ties to reach an agree­ment. The ex­tra pres­sure came amid spec­u­la­tion that the Euro­pean Union and the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund might with­hold the fifth in­stall­ment of Greece’s bailout pack­age be­cause of its fail­ure to take mea­sures quickly enough. How­ever, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Gior­gos Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou yes­ter­day de­nied that this was the case.

Greece re­ceived some in­di­rect words of en­cour­age­ment from US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, who dis­cussed the eu­ro­zone debt cri­sis at the G8 sum­mit in France.

“The pres­i­dent made clear that we have a strong in­ter­est in the eu­ro­zone suc­cess­fully man­ag­ing their way through the sit­u­a­tion,” an un­named se­nior US of­fi­cial told Reuters. “It is not our place to tell them how to re­solve it. But through the IMF and other­wise we are sup­port­ive of what they are do­ing and we are con­fi­dent that they will be able to do it.”

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