July 22, 2011

Greek Finance Minister: No Time to Relax in wake of Rescue Deal

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Friday (July 22) that while a rescue deal carved out by Eurozone ministers has brought great relief to the Greek economy, now is not the time for the government to relax as economic programs are implemented.

Venizelos called the agreement, which includes a new rescue loan of 109 billion euros, a new momentum for Greece. "The situation is difficult of course. The problem is great. Our responsibility is great in terms of time and history, but it is of great importance that we make use of every opportunity, every moment to the full extent, as we have now a new momentum."

The finance minister said the Greek banking system is now completely safeguarded and the Greek public should have no concerns, as the risk of ratings agencies giving Greece a "selective default" rating exists.

Euro zone leaders agreed on a second rescue package for debt-stricken Greece that risks triggering a temporary default and will give their financial rescue fund broader powers to try to prevent market instability spreading through the region.
An emergency summit of leaders of the 17-nation currency area on Thursday (July 21) pledged to conduct a second bailout of Greece with an extra 109 billion euros of government money, plus a contribution by private sector bondholders estimated to total as much as 50 billion euros by mid-2014.

On Sunday (July 24) Venizelos heads to Washington for meetings with U.S. government officials and the IMF chief Christine Lagarde.

Tags: Statements