NEWS

Juncker says EU cannot help Greece without IMF

As the government continues its efforts to adopt measures that will satisfy its international creditors so it can secure the release of a fifth tranche of funding, the head of the group representing eurozone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, indicated on Thursday that the European Union would be unable to step in if the International Monetary Fund withholds its portion of the installment.

The government has been told by its creditors that if it fails to take additional austerity measures, the next tranche of aid – estimated at 12 billion euros – would not be released.

?If the Europeans have to acknowledge that the disbursement from the IMF on June 29 cannot be operationally implemented, then the expectation of the IMF is that the Europeans would step in and take upon themselves the IMF?s portion of the financing,? Juncker said.

He added, ?That won?t work because in certain parliaments – Germany, Finland and the Netherlands and others too – there is no preparedness to do so.? Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that if the IMF does not approve a new tranche of loans ?then we won?t either.?

Meanwhile in the French resort of Deauville, where the G8 summit is taking place, the Greek crisis was a main topic of discussion, particularly in the US delegation, where concerns were voiced about the impact of a crisis-weakened euro on US export efforts.

Japan?s deputy chief cabinet secretary, Tetsuro Fukuyama, said that ?many leaders expressed the view that it is important that Greece further works on its fiscal reform and it should work with the IMF on this issue.?

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy struck a more positive note. ?We are confident that Greece will take all the necessary measures… so that the country will meet the budgetary objectives it has been given,? he said.