Eurozone finance ministers' comments
Here are comments from euro zone officials and finance ministers meeting in the Polish city of Wroclaw on Friday.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also joined a part of the talks in Wroclaw.
JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, PRESIDENT OF EUROGROUP
(ON TALKS WITH GEITHNER)
"We (the euro zone ministers and Geithner) are committed to a strong and coordinated international response to these challenges (sovereign debt and fiscal sustainability). We are taking strong actions to maintain financial stability, restore confidence and support growth.
"There is a need for a concerted effort at the global level in support of strong sustainable and balanced growth."
"Fiscal consolidation remains a top priority for the euro area. In view of financial turbulence, we reconfirmed our determination to fully implement the decisions taken by the heads of state or government on the 21st of July."
"We reached agreement on the details of the pricing of future EFSF loans, which will be reduced to funding costs plus operational costs of EFSF."
"I don't think it would be wise for me to report from an informal meeting that we have with the Treasury Secretary. We are not discussing the expansion or increase of the EFSF with a non-member of the euro area."
AUSTRIAN FINANCE MINISTER MARIA FEKTER
"He conveyed dramatically that we need to commit money to avoid bringing the system into difficulty.
"(German finance minister) Schaeuble made him very aware that it was unlikely to be possible to push that onto taxpayers, and especially not if (the burden) is imposed mainly on the triple-A countries."
"In these countries, there is a desire for a transaction tax because a transaction tax would use the liquidity which is on the market for stability. He (Geithner) ruled that out."
"I found it peculiar that even though the Americans have significantly worse fundamental data than the euro zone that they tell us what we should do and when we make a suggestion ... that they say no straight away."
"I had expected that when he tells us how he sees the world that he would listen to what we have to say."
"It prompted slightly critical remarks (in the meeting of euro zone finance ministers) that they have taken good legislative steps and made theoretical efforts but not done enough in the implementation of the necessary measures."
"The payment of the next tranche to Greece has been postponed until the October 14 so we have a little more time to continue keeping up pressure on Greece."
(ON COLLATERAL FOR GREEK AID)
"Fundamentally, there is agreement that collateral should be offered to everyone and, secondly, that it should cost something."
OLLI REHN, EU COMMISSIONER FOR ECONOMIC POLICY
"The first step will be a feasibility study with the Commission in the course of this autumn. In this study we will assess alternatives for euro bonds and we will dig deep into the economic and legal issues connected to the possible introduction of euro bonds.
"For me a necessary condition of any possible introduction of euro bonds is a further reinforcement of economic governance in Europe, implying sustainability of public finances and sustainability of economic growth models in Europe.
"Otherwise euro bonds will turn into junk bonds and that will not benefit anybody."
(ON COLLATERAL ISSUE):
"Concerning collateral I refer to what Jean-Claude Juncker said previously. We are in progress and I trust we can soon get this issue out of the agenda."
(ON GREEK LOANS)
"The Greek government has expressed strong determination to meet commitments. This concerns fiscal targets, structural reforms and privatization."
"Our fiscal experts have been on the ground since Tuesday this week and we are shortly sending back our mission chiefs so that we will be prepared to work fully in order to conclude the review on the condition that Greece meets all the conditions.
"The conclusion of the review is only dependent on the political will and ability of the Greek government and parliament. If the conditions are met then technically we have all the chances of taking the decisions in the first part of October so as to disburse before mid-October for Greece."
JEAN-CLAUDE TRICHET, HEAD OF EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK
(ON INFLATION PROJECTIONS)
"What has changed is that we have considered that the balance of risk was balanced and that we didn't have the upside risks that we have seen earlier. All that being said, I mentioned we had an anchoring of inflation expectations that was confirmed, was very, very solid, I have to say, and was preventing us from the materialization of risk of inflation as well as the risk of deflation."
"As regards the present situation, we draw the attention of all participants of the eurogroup that it was essential that all decisions taken both individually and collectively would be implemented fully and comprehensively and rapidly as has been committed by the heads of state government in all, absolutely all domains."
"Speaking of Greece we are working in liaison with the Commission and the full substantiation of all targets that have been determined is essential. The fiscal measures and the structural reforms are of the essence. We insist very much on improving governance."
KLAUS REGLING, HEAD OF EFSF BAILOUT FUND
"We plan to go to the market during the fourth quarter of the year to mobilize about 7 billion euros to support the adjustment programs in Ireland and Portugal."
"When the positions have been taken on Greece, of course the EFSF will get involved on that program and I have no doubt that the EFSF will be able to mobilize the resources required."
GREEK FINANCE MINISTER EVANGELOS VENIZELOS
"This is a great opportunity to send a very clear message. We are on track to implement the program. We believe that the implementation of the decision of the 21st of July is the unique way to go ahead - not only for Greece but for the euro zone as a whole."
BELGIAN FINANCE MINISTER DIDIER REYNDERS
"We first have to check if we can implement the decisions of July 21 and if on the Greek side there is a true implementation of what has been decided.
"Once it's done, we'll have to strengthen the fiscal tools in the EU and probably move toward new instruments. At some point, it will be euro bonds but right now it's more about strengthening the facility (EFSF).
"Euro bonds, that's a tool for the medium and long term."
SPANISH FINANCE MINISTER ELENA SALGADO
"We hope today to move forward in the implementation of the agreements of July 21 to strengthen the crisis mechanisms."
"We are making the necessary efforts to fight against uncertainties in the markets. The (U.S.) Treasury Secretary is not saying anything else and is just backing us to stay on this path."
AUSTRIAN FINANCE MINISTER MARIA FEKTER
"I am very confident that the next tranche to Greece can be paid out in October."
(Asked why there is concern about talk of insolvency as an option:)
"Because this costs a lot. The more consistent we are the better. I don't want to chase every week another cow through the village and not discuss new ideas that can not be put into reality."
FINNISH FINANCE MINISTER JUTTA URPILAINEN
"I think we are going to negotiate about it (collateral) but unfortunately I don't see that we can find a solution tonight. We continue to negotiate, I'm optimistic that we can find a solution that everybody can accept."
GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE
"We must solve the problems on both sides of the Atlantic to get stability in the financial markets, which is the main reason why we must fear a weakening of the global economy."
(On Euro Bonds)
"It is completely clear that we must solve our problems on the basis of existing treaties. Treaty changes take time."
[Source: Reuters, Wroclaw, Pol, 16Sep11]
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