February 6, 2012
European leaders maintained pressure on Greece to accept terms demanded by international lenders during a weekend of talks to avert a financial collapse.
Interim Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos struck a tentative deal with party leaders to boost economic competitiveness and extend spending cuts after euro-area finance chiefs told them an increase in the 130 billion-euro ($170 billion) aid package wasn’t forthcoming.
“If we determine that it’s all going wrong in Greece, then there won’t be a new program -- and that means in March you’ll have a declaration of bankruptcy,” Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs euro finance meetings, told Der Spiegel magazine in an interview published yesterday.
The effort to keep Greece from tumbling into default presents what Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann this weekend called a “make or break” moment. While Greek leaders reached their framework agreement yesterday, New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras said he would “fight” demands made by the so-called troika of international creditors that could deepen a recession.
The leaders in Athens will meet today aiming to complete an accord as international creditors imposed an 11 a.m. deadline in Athens for a final deal. Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told reporters Feb. 4 that negotiations in Athens for more funding hung “on a razor’s edge.” In Paris, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy meet today for a joint Cabinet meeting.