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Merkel: euro bonds 'wrong' for crisis

Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 02:28

Sept. 15-German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected joint euro zone bonds as ''absolutely wrong'' and said restoring stability to the single currency bloc required a longer-term step-by-step approach. Kirsty Basset reports.

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Greeks are feeling the full impact of the turmoil surrounding their troubled country. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) GREEK PENSIONER SAYING: "I don't agree with the measures that we have to take to reduce the debt. The debt is so big that it cannot be paid off. Whatever measures we take it's just not possible to reduce this debt." German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy say they're determined to keep Greece in the euro zone and will provide funding - as long as Greece sticks to strict austerity measures. A taskforce has arrived in Athens to ensure Greece does exactly that. The group's chief, Horst Reichenbach says he's confident his team won't become bankruptcy administrators. (SOUNDBITE)(English) TASKFORCE CHIEF HORST REICHENBACH SAYING: "I am convinced that by a common effort we can make progress and that there is a determination both on the Greek side and the European side to make it." French Finance Minister Francois Baroin is also among those calling for Greece to stick with its program of tough budget cuts, with French banks among the most exposed to Greek debt. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER FRANCOIS BAROIN SAYING: "Greece knows what it has to do. And it has to do it." Meanwhile Italians are confronting a reality that Greeks have been painfully adjusting to. A day after the country's parliament passed a raft of austerity measures, many fear hard times ahead. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ROME'S RESIDENT ADRIANA GIGLIOTTI SAYING: "It surely is a budget law with heavy cuts and sacrifices that will impact heavily on the lives of all of us every day. I guess it was not easy to avoid but they could have seen it coming earlier. And there is nothing in it to help future growth." European leaders are divided over possible solutions to the ongoing crisis. Angela Merkel has again rejected euro bonds - a day after the European Commission President raised market hopes by endorsing the idea. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL SAYING: "Eurobonds are absolutely wrong. In order to bring about common interest rates, you need similar competitiveness levels, similar budget situations. You don't get them by collectivising debts." Leaving many wondering exactly how Europe will fix the mess it's in, ahead of a crucial meeting of EU finance ministers in Poland. Kirsty Basset, Reuters.

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Merkel: euro bonds 'wrong' for crisis

Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 02:28