Belfast Telegraph

President vows EU will do all it can to keep country in Eurozone

By Geoff Meade

Europe will do all it takes to keep Greece in the single currency, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has said.

He told the United Nations in New York that EU financial commitments towards Greece will be honoured - in return for Greece keeping to the terms of the bailout deals designed to keep the country solvent.

Mr Barroso, addressing the UN General Assembly on his way to the G8 summit at Camp David, also defended Europe's response to the economic crisis as "robust", insisting the EU would maintain its policies - without being "blind" to evolving circumstances.

"I would like to reaffirm very clearly that we want Greece to stay in the euro area, and the European Union will do all it takes to ensure it," the EU president said.

"We will honour our commitments towards Greece and we expect the Greek government - current and future - to fulfil the jointly agreed conditions for financial assistance.

"We fully respect the will of the Greek people but also the will of the 16 euro area countries which, through their parliaments, have agreed on the conditions of financial assistance."

Mr Barroso explained how Europe had suddenly been confronted by "a financial crisis which spread into an economic crisis", while having to fix its internal economic and financial governance structures at the same time.