Angela Merkel has refused to give any blanket assurances that Greece will get the bail-out they need should the worst happen. She stated very firmly that the Greeks need to start now to sort their own mess out.

Alistair Darling has also ruled out Britain supplying any form of monetary support to Greece, putting the ball firmly in the Euroland court.

There have been more woolly phrases of support. EU leaders did issue a statement which said that the 16 countries that use the Euro "will take determined and co-ordinated action, if needed, to safeguard financial stability in the euro area as a whole." But there was no promise of funding and it seems that Greece has not formally asked for financial support.

The IMF has said that it is ready to step up to the plate should Greece request it. But IMF involvement is not something that the Euroland countries want. It would send out a very damaging message as well as giving the Americans a way in to get involved in Euro policy.

The French and Germans appear to be at loggerheads over this. With France favouring a bail-out and Germany, together with the ECB, looking more to Greek self-help. It has also been pointed out that one country bailing out another is not lawful under European Treaty law.


The survival of the Euro has been placed in the hands of the Greeks for now. They are being given the chance to sort their own problems out, get their economy on an even keel so as to prevent a cascade of problems through the Eurozone.

In response the Greeks have gone on strike and brought their nation to a virtual standstill before the ink has dried on the austerity plans their government has drawn up. This does not bode well for them when compared to the Irish reaction of knuckling down to the job.

For the Euro to survive this, either Greece sorts it out, they get bailed out or they leave the Euro.

One does wonder whether the “determined and co-ordinated action, if needed, to safeguard financial stability in the euro area as a whole.” Is coded speech for “here’s the exit” and not bail-out speech as the markets interpret it. Surely the threat of ejection will make more of an impact than caving in one after another to failing countries who see that being an EU bail-out claimant as better than austerity.



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