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Papandreou outlines austerity plan to EP special committee


18 Mar 2010

In a speech to a hearing of the European Parliament's Special Committee on the Financial Crisis this morning, Greek Prime Minister Georgios PAPANDREOU explained the latest austerity plan of his government. 

Two days after the Finance Ministers of the Euro group had announced their support to member states in cases of insolvency threat, Papandreou pointed out that rules on a global scale are needed in order to regulate the markets without crippling them. He compared this with traffic lights that may slow the traffic but essentially make driving safer. Papandreou expressed his preference for a European solution to the Greek crisis, whilst recognising that the austerity measures which eurozone countries insisted on would have been similar to any IMF solution.

ALDE member Wolf KLINZ (FDP, Germany), Chairman of the Special Committee, commented:

"I want to express my highest respect to Mr. Papandreou for the austerity plan of his government, in particular the fact that they don't ask for help under the pretext of solidarity. Greece must now be committed to an enduring course of reforms and consolidation. Otherwise it might occur as if a lack of reform willingness might be remunerated by the solidarity of partners. But Papandreou has demonstrated today that Greece is on the right path to fulfil its responsibilities."

KLINZ also remarked that it was not acceptable that the same banks that have been saved a few months ago with tax payer's money might now use that money to speculate against the Euro and against Greece, a member of the eurozone.

The EP's Special Committee aims to analyse and evaluate the extent of the financial, economic and social crisis, its impact on the EU and its Member States, to propose appropriate measures for the long-term reconstruction of sound, stable financial markets. 

Editor's note:

The debate took place in the context of a public hearing on European economic governance. The European Parliament will be pursuing its enquiries into the origins and lessons of the Greek debt crisis on Monday and Tuesday next week in the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee with the Presidents of the Eurogroup and European Central Bank.


For more information, please contact:

Neil Corlett: +32-2-284 20 77 or +32-478-78 22 84


Axel Heyer: +32-2-284 47 03 or +32-485-10 33 39



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