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Greek PM faces Franco-German grilling

Wednesday, November 02, 2011 - 02:28

Nov. 2 - Greek PM George Papandreou meets with German and French leaders ahead of the G20 summit in Cannes, as his decision to hold a referendum sends shockwaves throughout Europe. Kirsty Basset reports.

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PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has some explaining to do. He's meeting with European leaders ahead of the G20 summit to tell them why he decided to call a referendum on a 130 billion euro bailout package, announced by euro zone leaders last week. French President Nicolas Sarkozy says the package must still go ahead. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY SAYING: "This announcement has surprised the whole of Europe. France wishes to re-state that the plan adopted unanimously last Thursday by the 17 members of the eurozone is the only possible route to resolve the problem of the Greek debt." If Greeks vote against the plan, there are fears Greece will enter a messy default - a nightmare scenario which has been spooking markets. Many Germans, already resenting their role in bailing out debt-laden countries, are outraged. (SOUNDBITE) (German) PASSER-BY, CLAUDIO HENK, SAYING: "This is how Greece says thank you to Germany, for what we did for them. I think it's outrageous. We worked very hard, taxpayers are being burdened and what is the consequence? Greece thanks us with such a reaction. Okay, this might be democracy but I am not sure it's appropriate in this case." Some Greeks believe the chance to have a say has come too late anyway. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) NAVAL OFFICER, AGINOR VIRTZILEOS, SAYING: "It's ridiculous what they are doing, they should have asked the people before they went to the International Monetary Fund and asked them to make sacrifices earlier, so we wouldn't have such a big debt now. It's ridiculous to ask the people after you have already made an agreement." The news also sent chills through Italian markets - where government bonds and bank stocks received a hammering on Tuesday, leaving Italians worried. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ROME RESIDENT MARINA LUCCHI SAYING: "It is going to finish badly, worse than Greece, that's for sure. But, we aren't the ones deciding. The government have already decided everything so we just have to wait and see how they resolve it." Top financial officials from debt-laden Italy also held talks on Wednesday. Fears are growing that borrowing costs could get further out of control and Europe's third largest economy is seen as too big to bailout. Kirsty Basset, Reuters.

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Greek PM faces Franco-German grilling

Wednesday, November 02, 2011 - 02:28