Monday

25th Mar 2019

Merkel signals willingness to agree Greek mechanism

  • Without support from Angela Merkel there will be no European deal, say analysts (Photo: The Council of the European Union)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel signalled her willingness to reach an agreement on a support mechanism for Greece on Thursday, just hours before EU leaders are set to meet in Brussels.

Attending a meeting of Europe's centre-right politicians, Ms Merkel told journalists she "understands that we all have to take our responsibility."

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However, she made it clear that any agreement would only decide on the "mechanism" to transfer aid to Greece, and that no money was going to change hands at this point.

The Greek government has made no formal request for aid, but is calling on its EU partners to agree on a support mechanism in an effort to calm market doubts about the country's ability to meet upcoming debt obligations.

At an informal summit on 11 February, EU leaders said they would stand by Greece in case it needed support, but did not agree on a specific means of transferring aid.

The German leader, seen as the linchpin in any deal, also reiterated comments made by German officials this week that aid would only be forthcoming once Greece had first exhausted all options of raising money on the financial markets.

She also indicated her support for an IMF contribution to the potential funding package, and that any agreement must be combined with a wider debate on how to strengthen the eurozone's budgetary rules.

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