Greek President Karolos Papoulias, currently on a formal visit here, attributed the Greek crisis - and to a lesser degree the Romanian crisis - to a crisis of European institutions. Papoulias said the present situation is "a test for the European Union, one which will show if the principle of solidarity will prevail by helping those who should be helped for the purpose of overcoming a European crisis."

Referring to the Greek Parliament's approval of the medium-term fiscal strategy earlier on Wednesday, Papoulias said the outcome of the vote was "good", adding that "the government overcame a major obstacle, got the parliament's vote and now will have to prove with its work that is worthy of the people's confidence."

Speaking earlier with Romanian Senate President Mircea Geoana, he said he sees a change in the stance of the major European powers because it has become apparent that the solidarity principle should prevail to avoid a general collapse.

The Greek president also stressed that this is a major challenge for the EU, adding characteristically that "Europe will either surrender to speculators or resist as a political and economic entity, safeguarding its unity." He also added that the Greek side has its share of responsibility in today's crisis.