Thursday, January 19, 2012

Eurozone crisis: angry Greeks condemn EU plot to control its finances

Guardian
January 29, 2012

Greece has reacted furiously to a German proposal that an EU budget commissioner with oversight of its economy be installed in Athens after mounting speculation that international lenders will have to stump up yet more money for the country.

The escalating row threatened to eclipse Monday's summit after Greece's finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, issued a tart response to the suggestion, saying his compatriots were themselves capable of fulfilling the "historical obligation" to take the country out of crisis.

The proposal, in a leaked document, argued for the creation of a commissioner with veto powers over the Greek budget, saying Athens' inability to meet fiscal targets had made the post a precondition of further rescue funds from its "troika" of creditors: the EU, IMF and ECB.

"Budget consolidation has to be put under a strict steering and control system," noted the document. "Given the disappointing compliance so far, Greece has to accept shifting budgetary sovereignty to the European level for a certain period of time."

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