PARIS (MNI) – The Eurozone must “immediately” implement its E30
billion aid plan to help Greece meet its maturing obligations, France’s
Prime Minister Francois Fillon said in Parliament Wednesday afternoon.

Speaking of the recent violent market movements that have priced
Greece out of the market and now threaten to spill over into Portugal
and other Eurozone countries, Fillon said he wished to address himself
to “all who are speculating today against Greece, and who are
speculating in the final analysis against the European currency, to tell
them in the clearest possible fashion that the European Union and the
states of the Eurozone will assume all their responsibilities with
respect to Greece.”

He added: “We must stop this speculation, which is irrational,
which has nothing to do with the reality — however serious it may be —
of Greek public finances. And the only way to do that is to put in
effect, immediately, the E30 billion euros that the European countries
have promised to lend to Greece so that it can meet its obligations on
suitable terms.”

In what may have been a bit of wishful thinking, Fillon said the
“hesitations” of Germany with regard to Greece aid “will dissipate this
very day.” He was speaking shortly before Germany’s Chancellor Angela
Merkel was to make a statement to the press, and he said “I do not doubt
that she will take exactly the same position as that of the French
government and all the European states.”

But Merkel, who spoke moments later, did not explicitly promise
that Germany would approve and disburse its portion of the aid for
Greece. Instead, she said Germany’s decision would be based on the
contents of the Greek consolidation program being negotiated in Athens
this week. Though she did pledge, somewhat unspecifically, to “assure
the stability of the euro.”

–Paris newsroom, +331-42-71-55-40;

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