Prime minister hails rescue plan
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou late Thursday hailed a European move to extend a rescue package to debt-laden Athens. “Europe has taken a step forward … Europe and Greece will emerge stronger from this crisis,” Papandreou told the Net channel. The 16 countries that share the euro currency agreed late on Thursday to back a FrancoGerman plan to offer Greece loans in combination with the IMF. The unprecedented tie-up, which would reportedly be two-thirds funded by eurozone contributions and one third by the International Monetary Fund, will only be activated as a “last resort” and will involve unsubsidized interest rates, according to a text released by Berlin and Paris. For loans to be activated, all eurozone members must agree.