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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-05-01
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Countdown for Critical DecisionsSaturday, 01 May 2010 19:20
Talks and proceedings both in Athens and in Brussels have been feverish, since the countdown for the announcement of an agreement between the Greek government and the IMF and European team and for the activation of the support mechanism for Greece has begun. An inner cabinet meeting has been called for Sunday morning, after that the tough yet necessary measures which were decided based upon the country's national survival, as the Prime Minister claimed, will be announced.
Inner Cabinet to Discuss New Package of Measures
The agreement will be ratified by the Eurogroup which is holding an off-the-agenda sitting on Sunday evening. In the meantime, the aid to be given to Greece will range between 100 and 120 billion euros.
Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel reconfirmed over the phone their determination to take prompt actions towards the activation of the support mechanism.
On Sunday morning, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will brief the cabinet on the content of the new package of measures. They will be laid public afterwards.
The release of the measures will signal the opening of the proceedings for the implementation of the bailout package.
George Papandreou asked the President of the Republic to call a council at political leaders' level.
Main opposition New Democracy President Antonis Samaras also suggested the President of the Republic call a meeting of the political leaders but before the new measures are released.
"There is no point in calling a meeting of the political leaders after the announcement of the measures by the government. In that case, it is going to be a meeting aiming to create impressions in Greece and show a sign of consensus abroad," commented KKE (Greek Communist Party).
Activation of the Mechanism
As soon as Athens and Brussels announce the measures and agreed on the agreement, countdown for the activation of the support mechanism will commence.
The aid to be given is estimated to range between 120 to 150 billion euros for three year, with interest standing at 5%.
It goes without saying, that the fear of a domino effect has pushed all the eurozone nations to say yes to the immediate activation of the support mechanism.
Sanctions Await Those Who Fails to Respect the Stability Pact
Although Germany has come to realize that the bailout package to Greece should be implemented without fail, Chancellor Angela Merkel do not miss, in her interviews, addressing to her fellow citizens, calling this time for harsher sanction on those countries who fail to respect the stability pact.
She suggested that nations who do not commit themselves to the monetary policy should lose voting rights. The Europeans, she said, should learn their lesson from the current financial crisis, so that the euro currency remains strong and stable.
News item: 36130