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Trichet wants swift implementation of Greek measures

by: - August 29, 2011
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Mr Trichet was addressing a committee of the European Parliament

European Central Bank (ECB) president Jean-Claude Trichet has called for swift action to help Greece.

He urged eurozone governments to rapidly implement the 21 July agreement, which allows for a second bailout.

His comments to the European Parliament’s economic affairs committee echo those of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Swift implementation may be unlikely as legislators are just returning to work.

“The full and timely implementation of the July 21 agreement between heads of state or government is of essence,” he said.

The latest problem for the implementation of the second bailout is that the government of Finland wants collateral for its fresh loans to Greece.

Talks were held between Finnish and German officials on Monday to find a compromise position, with both sides voicing optimism that the timetable could be met.

The EU approved a 109bn euro ($158bn; £96bn) package of aid for Greece in July as well as 50bn euros from private sector bondholders, who are being asked to agree to roll over some of their existing bonds.

The EU’s economic and monetary affairs commissioner Olli Rehn also addressed the committee on Monday.

He said that the targets set for Greek privatisations might have to be revised because of falls on the Athens stock exchange.

“The value of some of the assets earmarked for privatisation has been declining in recent quarters,” he said.

“In case of difficulties in meeting the targets, the rhythm of disposal of state-owned assets and the stakes offered for sale could be revised in order to ensure the quarterly privatisation targets are achieved.”

BBC News