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Greece given ultimatum on euro

Thursday, November 03, 2011 - 02:40

Nov 3 - German and French leaders tell Greece it is time to decide on euro future. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.

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No more money for Greece until it decides if it is in or out of the euro zone. This was the message leaders of Germany and France gave the Greek prime minister. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, NICOLAS SARKOZY, SAYING : "Europeans and the IMF cannot envisage paying out the sixth installment of the programme to Greece unless Greece will have adopted the entire package from the 27th October and unless all uncertainty stemming from the referendum will have been removed. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel was clear on what the Greek referendum should ask its people. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "We have made it clear once again that the referendum can only concern whether Greece wants to stay in the euro zone: yes or no, and the Greek representatives including the Greek Prime Minister have also strongly supported this." George Papandreou caused outrage among his European partners and panic in the financial markets with his announcement of a Greek referendum on the EU bailout plan. He explained his reasons why. (SOUNDBITE)(English) GREEK PRIME MINSTER GEORGE PAPANDREOU, SAYING: "I have said over and over again in Greece, that we need a wider consensus, I have tried for a wider consensus with all the parties, I have talked many times with leaders, and if there was a wider consensus obviously we would not need a referendum. But this wider consensus did not exist, but I do believe there is a wide consensus amongst the Greek people and that's why I want the Greek people to speak, and the Greek people will speak soon." Papandreou was confident of a yes vote. (SOUNDBITE)(English) GREEK PRIME MINSTER GEORGE PAPANDREOU, SAYING: "The essence is that this is not only a question of a programme. This is a question of whether we want to remain in the euro zone. That's very clear - that should be clear to everyone. I believe that this will be a positive outcome. I believe the Greek people want us to remain in the euro zone, and I believe that this referendum will show so. " The much needed 8 billion aid installment due to Greece this month has been put on hold until after the vote. Official creditors want to be sure Athens will stick to its austerity programme. IMF head, Christine Lagarde hoped for an quick referendum. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, CHRISTINE LAGARDE, SAYING: "I hope that this whole thing can be closed and completed before mid December. I think it's important from a cash point of view." If Greece votes no in the popular vote, it faces a disorderly default. This would hammer European banks and threaten the much larger economies of Italy and Spain, which the bloc may not have the means to bail out Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters

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Greece given ultimatum on euro

Thursday, November 03, 2011 - 02:40