Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou asked for the activation of an EU/IMF aid package on April 23 aimed at pulling the nation out of a debt crisis.
“It is a national and imperative need to officially ask our partners in the EU for the activation of the support mechanism we jointly created,” Papandreou said in statements broadcast live from the remote, tiny Aegean island of Kastellorizo.
Greece is negotiating with EU and IMF officials the terms of a €40-45bn package aimed at helping Greece deal with its debt mountain as borrowing costs ballooned.
Papandreou said markets did not give Greece the time it needed to turn its economy around and spiralling lending rates were threatening to negate the effect of painful austerity measures.
“We will not allow it,” he said, speaking against the backdrop of the picturesque port of Greece's easternmost island. “Our partners will decisively contribute to provide Greece the safe harbour that will allow us to rebuild our ship.”
Papandreou said the EU would send markets a strong message that it can protect common interests and the common currency.