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Greece and Italy sceptical over debt deal

Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 02:08

Oct 27 - There's apprehension on the streets of Rome and Athens after euro zone leaders struck a deal to reduce Greece's debt burden and boost the bailout fund's firepower. Kirsty Basset reports.

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News of a deal to contain Europe's debt crisis was greeted with scepticism by some of those who've been hit hardest by the region's economic woes. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou says the rescue plan means the country's debt will now be sustainable. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) GREEK PRESIDENT GEORGE PAPANDREOU SAYING: "We managed to escape from this default trap. The fact that we are still here today is a big achievement for the Greek people. So, today I think we can close a chapter, a chapter of the past and I think we can now start working on a new future for our country." But few were celebrating on the streets of Athens. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) RETIRED COLONEL, TASOS SKARLATOS, SAYING: "It's a dark and shady deal. Everything here gets worse by the day. God help us." Many blame the country's politicians for their situation, and believe the fifty per cent losses that private investors say they'll take - is as good as bankruptcy. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT, SPIROS KARALIS, SAYING "As long as these 300 politicians are in Parliament, things won't get better. They are the ones that brought us to this situation, so it is unlikely they will save us." Italy has the second largest debt pile after Greece. At 1.9 trillion euros, it's around 120 per cent of GDP. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has promised to deliver a plan to reform the economy by November 15, including raising the retirement age, cutting red tape and improving business conditions. But Italians felt far from assured after the Brussels summit. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ROME RESIDENT WHO DID NOT WANT TO BE NAMED, SAYING: "I don't think this government is capable of managing this crisis. The measures they are coming up with are inadequate. For instance to make it easier to fire employees doesn't help people at all. They should target those with large assets, who have the means to pay more in this moment of crisis." Nonetheless, some analysts said Berlusconi's plans went beyond expectations, helping European shares rally to a 12 week high. Kirsty Basset, Reuters

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Greece and Italy sceptical over debt deal

Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 02:08