NEWS

Barroso says Greece is on its final warning

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has warned Greece that it has to meet the commitments it has made to its eurozone partners or else it will have to leave the single currency.

Barroso?s warning came a few hours after the International Monetary Fund cleared the way for Athens to receive its 8-billion-euro loan tranche in the next few days and as talks about a haircut for Greek bonds continue.

In an interview with German daily «Die Welt» published on Tuesday, Barroso stressed that that the debt write-down in the Greek aid package was a one-off.

He also called on Germany to keep assuring its peers it would do its utmost to preserve euro zone stability, and said this week’s EU summit could be a turning point for winning back market trust.

“I know that Germany supports greater coordination and discipline and a more comprehensive approach to the crisis… but at the same time Germany should keep assuring its partners that it will do all it can to secure the stability of the euro zone, as is the case with the current rescue fund,» he said.

Asked what decisions from the summit on Dec 8 and 9 would be of most importance, Barroso said a move by European leaders to simplify how a country receives aid from the permanent bail out fund.

A qualified majority should decide whether a country can receive aid from the permanent rescue fund, he said, rather than all member states.

Barroso welcomed the meeting and declaration of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on Monday, who outlined a plan for imposing budget discipline across the euro zone.

Asked about possible changes to the European Union treaty, in order to allow greater budget discipline, Barroso said certain amendments could be pushed through rapidly.

“Four to five months is a realistic time frame in my opinion, depending on the type of treaty change,» he said.

Merkel downplayed the news that Standard