Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Mark your calendars -- Dec. 4 or 5

Greece's prime minister George Papandreou told various European leaders that he's going through with a national referendum on the recently brokered bailout deal. It will take place, he says, either Dec. 4 or 5.

The New York Times notes that Mr. Papandreou's message was not well received.
After the talks, held before a summit meeting of the Group of 20, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and others said they regretted that Greece had reached this point but that it was best to clear up the uncertainty.

The chairman of the euro zone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg, put the matter bluntly: “It comes down to the question of yes or no, Greece wants to stay as a member of the euro area or not.”
Mr. Papandreou expressed confidence that the Greek people would approve the bailout deal in a referendum. “It is a difficult choice but people have to make it,” he said. “I believe the Greek people are wise enough to make the right decision.”
The Guardian adds that Ms. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy left little doubt that Greece is treading in dangerous waters.
Greece will receive no more European bailout money until it decides whether it wants to stay in the eurozone, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel announced on Wednesday night.
The French president and German chancellor hastily convened a late-night press conference after holding what they called "tough and hard" emergency talks with the Greek prime minister on the margins of the G20 summit in Cannes.
They made clear that saving the euro was ultimately more important to them than rescuing Greece.
But in this report, EuroNews notes that Mr. Papandreou is right now unwilling to listen to any of the political pressure at home and elsewhere.

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