- Survivors pulled from Oklahoma tornado debris as toll falls |
- Analysis: Some Republicans see new scandal in Sebelius fundraising
- Convicted U.S. killer Arias would join tiny death row group
- Drop in U.S. underground water levels has accelerated -USGS
- Israel fires back at Syria after gunshots at its troops
HIGHLIGHTS-Euro zone leaders' meeting on Greece
BRUSSELS May 8 (Reuters) - The following are comments by euro zone leaders and other officials as they met on Friday to agree on a bailout for debt-stricken Greece.
LUXEMBOURG PRIME MINISTER JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER
"We have decided that there must be progress in budgetary consolidation. By next Sunday the (European) Commission will make a recommendation for a consolidation and stabilisation mechanism for the euro zone."
FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY
"The euro zone is going through the worst crisis since its creation."
"The leaders of the euro zone have decided to do everything in their power to ensure the stability and unity of the currency union."
"The leaders have decided to put in place a European intervention mechanism to preserve the stability of the euro zone."
"The decisions taken will have immediate application, from the point that financial markets open on Monday morning."
GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL
"We came to the conclusion that the systemic effects against the euro can be felt."
"We have established that there is a high amount of speculation against the euro in general."
GREEK PRIME MINISTER GEORGE PAPANDREOU
"For the past seven months we have shown time and again our determination to tackle our country's problems ... embark on reforms to make our economy more competitive, viable and make our society more transparent."
"We have taken difficult decisions."
"We have taken these decisions for Greece. We have taken these decisions for Europe."
"Today's meeting marked the final stage of this process."
"In the following days Greece will receive the first tranche."
"This will allow us to implement our programme and our reforms, without being prey to the daily gyrations of the markets. Today's meeting also reconfirmed something else, that the need to safeguard the euro zone goes beyond Greece's problems."
"That's why the decisions we have taken show our common determination to work together and doing so safeguard the stability of our common currency in Europe and also safeguard the stability of Europe itself. So that Europe can go beyond the crisis."
"In today's summit and the decision that this summit has taken, euro zone countries have proven they support Greece in this difficult moment."
EU COMMISSION PRESIDENT JOSE MANUEL BARROSO
On European Central Bank:
"I have never made interference to what the bank will do." "We never made public comments on what the ECB should do or not do."
"We fully support the ECB in its actions to support the stability of the euro area."
On financial stability, Greece:
"We will do whatever it takes to safeguard the financial stability not only of Greece but the whole euro area."
"We need deeper fiscal consolidation, and the (European) Commission will implement the rules rigorously."
"Second, we will also immediately act to plug the gaps in our economic coordination."
"The European Commission will present concrete proposals for a European stabilisation mechanism to preserve financial stability in Europe. This proposal will be presented to an Ecofin meeting next Sunday, May 9."
"We also agreed to reinforce surveillance and to increase economic policy coordination. We will come with some proposals around these objectives next Wednesday, May 12."
"What we can say is that the proposal for that mechanism ... will be done under the existing financial possibilities in the community budget."
"We trust the European Central Bank will take the necessary measures but it's up to them to decide."
"We will defend the euro whatever it takes. We have several instruments at our disposal and we will use them."
"We will also immediately act to plug the gaps in our economic coordination."
"It is true that the recent (instability) in the financial markets has made this even more urgent."
EU PRESIDENT HERMAN VAN ROMPUY
"We are facing exceptional financial circumstances In the current crisis, we reaffirm our commitment to ensure the stability, unity and integrity of the euro area.
All institutions in the euro area, the Council, the Commission and the European Central Bank as well as all euro area member states, agree to use the full range of means available to ensure the stability of the euro area.
Today, we agree on the following:
First, consolidation of public finances is a priority for all of us. And we will take all measures needed to meet our fiscal targets this year and in the years ahead in line with the excessive deficit procedures.
Each one of us is ready, depending on the situation of his country, to take the necessary measures to accelerate consolidation and to ensure the sustainability of public finances.
The situation will be reviewed by the Ecofin council on the basis of a Commission assessment by the end of June at the latest.
We have asked the Commission and the Council to strictly enforce the recommendations addressed to member states under the growth and stability pact.
Second, we fully support the European Central Bank in its actions to ensure the stability of the euro area.
Taking into account the exceptional circumstances, the Commission will propose a European stabilisation mechanism to preserve the financial stability in Europe. It will be submitted to an extraordinary Ecofin meeting this Sunday, May 9.
We have decided to strengthen the governance of the euro area. In the context of the taskforce by the president of the European Council, we are prepared to broaden and strengthen economic surveillance and policy coordination in the euro area, including by paying close attention to debt levels and competitiveness developments.
Second, reinforce rules and procedures for surveillance of euro area member states, including through strengthening of the stability and growth pact and more effective sanctions.
Third, create a robust framework for crisis management, respecting the principles of member states' own budgetary responsibilities.
Regulation of financial markets and the fight against speculation, that was the fourth item.
The current market turmoil highlights need to make rapid progress on financial market regulation and supervision."
BELGIAN PRIME MINISTER YVES LETERME
"We are going to exchange views about how we can act more quickly and more efficiently than in the last two to three months. In the medium to long term we need an economic government in the euro zone."
Asked whether there was a need to worry about Spain/Portugal:
"For the moment it is only the Greek dossier on the table but we should think about how we can act quickly and more efficiently in the future."
GREEK PRIME MINISTER GEORGE PAPANDREOU
"The Greek people have endured the strain of the economic crisis during the last few months, yet both the government and the Greek people are absolutely determined to change the path for Greece to one of stability and growth."
"Only yesterday, we took very strong ... measures ... showing the will to move forward. And we are determined to move forward. We have done our part."
"At the same time there is unprecedented volatility throughout the world, in the world economy. That is why today's meeting here in Brussels is so important."
"We will reaffirm our confidence in our economies and our common currency, and that gives a very important message for the global economic recovery, a recovery that will bring back growth, jobs, welfare to our people, to our citizens, to our countries and to all of Europe."
"We can do this, we must do this, we will do this together."
AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR WERNER FAYMANN
"I would be in favour of building a European monetary fund. We expect that with the measures we have taken on Greece that we will avert problems such as in Spain or Portugal. In particular, when it comes to pushing back speculation that makes a big problem out of a small one. We don't expect that the measures for today set an example for the next five steps."
"I cannot imagine withdrawing the voting rights of a country on all subjects related to financial issues."
"Treaty changes might come up at the end of the debate and not at the start."
"We have weak spots in the euro zone because of the various problems individual countries have. And instead of being strong enough together to get out of this, there are debates going on that make the problems even harder. It shouldn't be the case that we cannot follow up by putting out the fire when others are constantly fanning it by throwing oil on to it by speculating."
GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL
"First, we must speed up the regulation of the financial markets. Time is running out, this has to happen quickly."
"Second, not only Greece has to consolidate its budget but all of us have to work to implement the Stability and Growth Pact (EU budget rules) quickly."
"Third, we have to make provisions for the stability of the euro by stating firmly that it is our common currency, but also by sharpening the Stability and Growth Pact, including possible treaty changes. In my view there is no other way."
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this