NEWS

Washington ready to offer help [update]

US Vice President Joe Biden on Monday vowed Washington will assist Greece ?in every way it can.? But he did not spell out any concrete help.

Biden on Monday begun meetings with political leaders in Greece, at the start of a crucial week for the future of the debt-saddled eurozone.

Biden, who traveled from Turkey, met with President Karolos Papoulias on Monday before holding talks with Greece’s provisional Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.

He would later meet with leaders of the main parties backing the country’s new coalition government.

“We stand with you in solidarity as you meet some difficult requirements of the IMF and European Union,» Biden said. «We stand ready to help in every way we can.”

“With a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, a year from now we will have not only weathered this crisis, but even be in a stronger position,» he added.

Papademos expressed his confidence that Greece can count on US support in a debt crisis.

Earlier on Monday, Biden joked about bringing money to help Greece out of its deepest financial crisis in decades.

Introducing a member of his delegation during a meeting with Papoulias, Biden said: «This man represents the Treasury department. He’s brought hundreds of millions of dollars.”

His comments drew laughs from both the Greek and US delegations.

Last week, the United States joined a coordinated effort by global central banks to provide relief to banks in the eurozone.

The eurozone debt crisis began in Greece two years ago, and the country is currently negotiating the terms of a second, massive bailout package from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund. [Combined reports]