Greece ‘a breath away from ground zero’, PM warns
Greece is a “a breath away from ground zero”, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos warned as he urged politicians to back an unpopular international bailout on Sunday that may have to be raised to €145bn to save the country from collapse.
By Emma Rowley
12 Feb 2012
He told the nation in a televised address on Saturday that a rejection of the deal today would lead to “uncontrollable economic chaos and social explosion”.
“This agreement will decide the country’s future,” he said. “We are just a breath away from ground zero.”
Amid scenes of continued mounting social unrest, politicians must today decide whether to sign off fresh austerity measures demanded by the country’s international lenders in order to release a second €130bn aid package to Athens.
The rescue must be secured by March 20 in order to stave off bankruptcy. It is on that date that the Greek government has to pay back €14.5bn of its debt to holders of its bonds.
Mr Papademos said parliament had a historic responsibility to back the bill, or face catastrophic consequences if Greece misses the deadline to service its debt.