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Greece to get loans in time to avoid default
Question of the Day
“You as businesspeople, you know that inspiration, innovation and motivation are important parts of success,” he told representatives of Germany’s leading industries. “If people feel only punishment and scorn, this crisis will not become an opportunity — it will become a lost cause.”
He added that Europe needs to prove it can get its act together. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, has been a sometimes-reluctant leader of the rescue efforts.
“We must prove to the markets that we have a firm grip on the debt crisis and that we are determined to resolve it together,” he said.
Mrs. Merkel, also speaking at the industry forum, pledged support for Greece but didn’t promise any specific new measures. She expressed “absolute respect” for structural reforms pushed through by Mr. Papandreou’s government.
“The all-important thing is — and we will provide every assistance that is wanted from the German side — that Greece wins back confidence; that we get out of this terrible development that there is bad news every month; and that the impression arises on the markets that Greece is on the right track,” she said.
Mrs. Merkel said Germany would do what it can, whether through private industry or government efforts.
However, she once again rejected the idea of pooling European countries’ debt — for example, by issuing joint so-called eurobonds — and she said Germany is “not available” for further economic stimulus programs.
On Thursday, Germany’s parliament is to vote on beefing up the powers and lending capacity of the eurozone’s 440 billion euro ($595 billion) rescue fund — a facility that already has intervened to help Ireland and Portugal.
German officials, facing distaste within Mrs. Merkel’s center-right coalition at the idea of endless bailouts, have sought to cool down expectations of further increases any time soon.
Spanish Finance Minister Elena Salgado denied market speculation that the European Union is considering raising the size of the fund to 2 trillion euros ($2.7 trillion), saying in a television interview that “it is not on the table, nor has it been discussed.”
Elena Becatoros reported from Athens. Derek Gatopoulos in Athens contributed to this article.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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