News Column

Greek Rescue Can Work, EU's Barroso Says Ahead of Papademos Visit

Feb. 27, 2012

Alvise Armellini

European Union flag

Greece's new rescue package can work, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso insisted Monday, ahead of a visit by country's leader and amid German and Dutch suggestions that Athens will need yet more money down the line.

Last week, eurozone finance ministers agreed on 130-billion-euro ($174 billion) bailout, coming on top of a 110-billion-euro package approved in 2010.

But in messages last week to their national parliaments, German and Dutch finance ministers admitted that a third round of aid may be needed in the future. Eurogroup chief and Luxembourg premier Jean-Claude Juncker did not rule out such a scenario on the weekend.

"It not it would not be rational to put all that money (for the second bailout) if (eurozone nations) believe it is not going to work," Barroso told an audience at the Lisbon Council think tank in Brussels.

"Unfortunately, the message that comes at the same time, is 'OK, (we put this money) but probably it will not work.' This has a devastating effect," the head of the E.U. executive complained.

Barroso said Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos would travel to Brussels on Wednesday to discuss with him and several commissioners how to better tap into E.U. funding, in order to help the country grow out of its crippling recession.

In parallel, the commission said a team of EU experts had left for Athens on Monday to advice the government there tackle youth unemployment, which has risen to almost 50 percent in the wake of the country's economic crisis.

Source: (c) 2012 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

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