Olli Rehn: EU must decide on aid package for Greece this week

The European Union must decide on a modality to help debt-laden Greece this week, or run the risk of causing a serious disruption for the euro currency, EU monetary affairs chief said.

“There is already the technical preparedness. Now we need a political decision. This is also important to Greece so it would know what to expect,”  Rehn said.

We are at a crossroads. Greece can cause a serious disruption to the euro, or we can learn from the crisis.

Commissioner Rehn said there were still a number of alternatives on the table to help Greece, and he saw no problems with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) assisting Greece.

“The EU is close to the IMF. We are partners.”

France and Spain have called for a special meeting of euro zone countries this week to discuss Greece ahead of the regular two-day EU summit which opens on Thursday afternoon.

Greece needs to refinance some 16 billion euros in maturing debt between April 20 and May 23 and is hoping that a public display of an EU emergency support mechanism, which would not need to be activated, will be enough to force down the cost.

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