Page last updated at 21:53 GMT, Monday, 15 February 2010

Greece calls for details of eurozone rescue plans

Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou
Mr Papaconstantinou wants more details of the rescue plan

Greece's Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou wants other eurozone nations to release a detailed plan of how they will bail-out his country.

Mr Papaconstantinou said such a move was necessary to ease market fears that Greece could default on its debts.

His comments come after eurozone leaders pledged last Thursday to support the country, but stopped short of detailing any exact proposals.

Eurozone finance ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss Greece.

Greece is seeking a bail-out from fellow eurozone nations as it tries to reduce its public deficit, which at 12.7% is more than four times higher than eurozone rules allow.

Jean-Claude Juncker and Olli Rehn on Greece's crisis

It has pledged to reduce this to 8.7% this year, under an austerity plan that involves major cuts in public spending.

Ahead of the finance ministers meeting, EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Olli Rehn, said there was a clear case for Greece to implement "additional measures".

Swaps focus

"My guess is that what will stop markets attacking Greece at the moment is a further, more explicit message that makes operational what has been decided last Thursday," Mr Papaconstantinou told the AP news agency.

He added that the 16 countries that use the euro need to "work out a mechanism so that if necessary the mechanism will be there" to help any member nation that cannot pay its debts.

"I think this is the logical way of addressing the issue," he added.

Mr Papaconstantinou's comments also came after the European Union (EU) statistics agency Eurostat said on Monday that Greece falsified data last year to hide the extent of its debts.

The EU has now given Greece until the end of February to give details on how complicated financial deals, called currency swaps, affected the Greek government's financial accounts since 2001.

Mr Papaconstantinou said some of the swaps used in the past "were at the time legal, and Greece was not the only country" using them.

He added that they have now "been made illegal, and Greece has not used them since".

Greece is seeking a bail-out from fellow eurozone nations as try to reduce its public deficit, which at 12.7% is more than four times higher than eurozone rules allow.

The EU is due to assess the implementation of Greece's austerity plan next month.



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