Cannes: The threat of a Greek exit from the euro zone hung over a meeting of G20 leaders on Thursday after France and Germany made it clear that Athens must decide urgently whether it wants to stay in the 12-year-old currency bloc.
The summit on the French Riviera had been meant to focus on reforms of the global monetary system and steps to rein in speculative capital flows, but a shock decision by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou Monday to call a referendum on a new EU/IMF aid package for his country has upended the talks.
Papandreou was summoned to Cannes on the eve of the summit and given a stark warning by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, both clearly angered by his gambit, which has sent global stock markets and the euro currency spiraling lower.
They convinced the Greek prime minister to bring forward the referendum to early December and insisted it be focused on the broad issue of whether Greece wants to stay in the currency bloc, rather than limiting it to a vote on a new 130 billion euro (USD 179 billion) bailout package, which a strong majority of Greeks oppose....more
09:27 AM, Nov 03, 2011