Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Tuesday, 28 June 2011 18:03 UK

EU leaders 'have no Plan B' to deal with Greek crisis

European leaders have been accused of having "no Plan B" to deal with the Greek debt crisis.

The comments came during a bad-tempered open meeting between MEPs and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on 28 June 2011.

The meeting was called to discuss the recent EU Council summit where leaders agreed that both the next tranche of the May 2010 bailout for Greece and a new bailout should go ahead - provided the Greek government imposes strict austerity measures.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage accused EU leaders of "burying their heads in the sand" and "prolonging the agony" of the Greek economy.

"It doesn't matter how much money you throw at it… the fact is that Greece is going bust," he told MEPs.

"She can't even afford her current repayments, let alone be forced by you to take on a whole lot more debt," he continued.

"Your complete refusal to accept a contingency plan, to accept a Plan B of any kind at all while many lose their jobs and their lives sink increasingly into poverty frankly is nothing less than a dereliction of duty," he said.

Mr Farage concluded his speech by warning that Europe could face a "Mediterranean summer of discontent" if the measures do not work.

Lothar Bisky, who leads the far-left group, also accused EU leaders of lacking an alternative plan.

"What will the EU do if the Greek parliament rejects the austerity package?" he asked.

"Why is there no Plan B - or Plan C for that matter - because a scenario might ensue which is different to the one we would like to see."

But Mr Barroso insisted there was no alternative to the "painful reforms" agreed at the summit.

"There is no Plan B to avoid default. The only plan is the one put forward by the European Commission, by the European Central Bank and by the IMF, and that is fully supported by all the member states of the euro area", he said.

He told MEPs that anyone who said there was a different solution to the crisis was "simply lying", adding that proponents of alternative plans would be responsible for "a real catastrophe for the public finances in Greece".

"Our message is let's stick to the plan agreed. There will be no miracles to the painful reforms that Greece has to take. Those that pretend otherwise… are pretending they are the friends of Greece," Mr Barroso concluded.


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