NEWS

‘Time is running out,’ Brussels warns Greek leaders

Following the failure on Friday of Greece?s party leaders to agree on a common strategy to overcome the country?s economic crisis, the European Commission warned that ?time is running out? for Athens to adopt a program to overcome its mounting debt problems.

Brussels ?regrets the failure of Greek party leaders to reach consensus on economic adjustment to overcome the current debt crisis,? said EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn.

?We expect that the efforts towards a cross party agreement to support the EU-IMF program will continue,? added the Finn. ?An agreement has to be found soon. Time is running out.?

Rehn created a stir on the Greek political scene a few days ago when he put pressure on the government and opposition parties to reach an agreement. The extra pressure came amid speculation that the European Union and the International Monetary Fund might withhold the fifth installment of Greece?s bailout package because of its failure to take measures quickly enough. However, Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou yesterday denied that this was the case.

Greece received some indirect words of encouragement from US President Barack Obama, who discussed the eurozone debt crisis at the G8 summit in France.

?The president made clear that we have a strong interest in the eurozone successfully managing their way through the situation,? an unnamed senior US official told Reuters. ?It is not our place to tell them how to resolve it. But through the IMF and otherwise we are supportive of what they are doing and we are confident that they will be able to do it.?