Germany and its euro zone partners aim to approve the necessary legislation to free up financial aid for debt-stricken Greece this week, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Monday.
"Our aim is to conclude what is necessary in legislative terms this week..." Schaeuble said, adding that his euro zone counterparts had signalled they wanted to approve their respective parts of the Greek aid package this week.
Speaking after the German cabinet approved a draft version of the aid law on Monday, Schaeuble said he hoped Greece would not need to use all of the 3-year, 110 billion euro package agreed by EU officials and the International Monetary Fund.
Euro zone finance ministers would work with the banking sector to ensure Greece's financial stability, he noted.
"Every (euro zone) finance minister will, in the coming days, work hard with the major players in his national finance sector to promote this programme and also to get the finance sector involved again in the safeguarding of Greek financing needs as soon as possible," he told a news conference.
"That should not be confused with a moratorium or restructuring," Schaeuble added.
In future, the European Union needed to put measures in place to ensure that some form of insolvency proceedings was possible for countries as well as banks, Schaeuble said.
"We need something similar for member states of European monetary union," Schaeuble said. "When monetary union was launched, it was impossible to imagine a country could be threatened by insolvency within the European Stability Pact."
Schaeuble said it was obvious Greece had joined the euro zone in breach of the rules, but that there was no point in fanning tensions over what had gone wrong in the past.
He added that Germany's failure in the past to uphold the EU's Stability and Growth pact -- which sets out rules on deficits -- had undermined budgetary discipline in the bloc.
Schaeuble also urged the bloc to accelerate efforts to improve financial market regulations, adding that he did not believe a consensus could be reached within the EU on a financial transaction tax, as some policymakers have urged.
ReutersLast Mod: 04 Mayıs 2010, 08:26