Reuters | Sun May 2, 2010 | 3:58pm IST
The choice was rescue or collapse, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said on Sunday after the debt-choked country clinched a multi-billion euro aid deal with the EU and the IMF.
Here are highlights from his comments during a news conference:
"The cabinet decided to accept the programme it negotiated with the ECB, EU and the IMF… the decision on the size of the aid will be announced today after the Eurogroup meeting."
RESCUE OR COLLAPSE
"We are all being called to make a choice. The choice is collapse or salvation. The choice is between fleshing out a very ambitious and difficult 3-year programme of fiscal consolidation, a programme of structural reforms … or the country to reach an absolute dead-end."
PROTECTED FROM MARKET EXPOSURE
"Thanks to the aid the country will be protected from market exposure for the rest of 2010, 2011 and 2012."
"The purpose of the aid programme is … to win time to be able to return to markets under normal circumstances. The aim is that Greece returns to markets as soon as possible."
"All the measures announced are valid over the duration of the programme… After the end of the programme there will be a new situation."
"The deficit will be under 3 percent in 2014."
"The third part (of the aid programme) is the creation of a fund, with specific IMF and EU contributions, that will safeguard … capital adequacy in the banking system."
PUBLIC SECTOR WAGE FREEZE
"Salaries and pensions in the public sector will not see any increases during the programme."
"Today we have to flesh out an economic programme which sees fiscal efforts to cut the deficit by 11 points of GDP, or 30 billion euros, starting from today and over the next three years."