Thursday

11th Aug 2022

Van Rompuy: Eurozone will bail out Greece if needed

  • Van Rompuy (l) looked cold as he read out the short statement in several languages (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

The European Union has formally stated what has been discussed in private for weeks: a bailout for Greece will be available if needed.

The announcement is designed to calm market jitters that have recently wreaked havoc on stocks and bonds in a number of weaker peripheral eurozone members.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The EU's new permanent president Herman Van Rompuy made the statement on the steps of the Bibliotheque Solvay, and old library in a central Brussels park where EU leaders are meeting for an informal summit on economic issues on Thursday (11 February).

"Euro area member states will take determined and co-ordinated action if needed to safeguard financial stability in the euro area as a whole," he said.

The former Belgian politician also stressed that no aid would be immediately forthcoming, however. "The Greek government has not requested any financial support," he said.

Flanked by European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, Mr Van Rompuy said the EU fully supported the efforts of the Greek government in implementing a long list of austerity measures outlined in a plan last month.

"We call on the Greek government to implement all these measures in a rigorous and determined way," said Mr Van Rompuy. Athens intends to reduce its budget deficit by four percent this year after it reached 12.7 of GDP in 2009.

The commission is set to closely monitor Greece's implementation of the tough measures that led to strikes on Wednesday around the country.

The European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund will also play a role in the tough surveillance.

"The commission will closely monitor the Greek implementation in liaison with the ECB, and will propose necessary additional measures, drawing on the expertise of the IMF," said Mr Van Rompuy.

Almost two-thirds of Europe in danger of drought

Data released by the European Drought Observatory show 60 percent of Europe and the United Kingdom is currently in a state of drought, with farming, homes and industry being affected. Drought conditions have also led to an increase in wildfires.

Droughts prompt calls to cut water use amid harvest fears

With the prolonged lack of rain and high temperatures, fears have emerged over water shortages and droughts decreasing crop yields — prompting calls to use less water and reuse urban wastewater for agricultural irrigation.

EU 'must tax pesticides' to cut use, expert warns

The European Commission put forward a new proposal to reduce pesticides in mid-June. But experts warn that it is based on weak rules, and that European agriculture is stuck in a "permanent pesticide-dependence."

Brazil pitches itself as answer to Ukraine war food shortages

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is pitching his Latin American country as the answer to the world food crisis following the war in Ukraine. The traditional wheat importer has now exported three million tonnes of the grain so far in 2022.

Brazil pitches itself as answer to Ukraine war food shortages

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is pitching his Latin American country as the answer to the world food crisis following the war in Ukraine. The traditional wheat importer has now exported three million tonnes of the grain so far in 2022.

Opinion

Exploiting the Ukraine crisis for Big Business

From food policy to climate change, corporate lobbyists are exploiting the Ukraine crisis to try to slash legislation that gets in the way of profit. But this is only making things worse.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us