Thursday, 18 March 2010

EU faces high-stakes ultimatum on aid for Greece

"BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Greece has made what amounts to an ultimatum to the European Union to come up with a clear offer of standby loans next week or face the embarrassment of Athens asking the International Monetary Fund for help.Greece has long held out the prospect of seeking IMF help to put pressure on the EU, but Prime Minister George Papandreou raised the stakes on Thursday by calling for a firm pledge of financial support at an EU summit in Brussels on March 25-26.His appeal is designed to force EU leaders, and particularly German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to rally behind Greece after EU finance ministers offered only a vague plan for a standby safety net this week. But success is far from certain for Athens. ..."

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