Politics: EU must rapidly take action to reassure markets over debt crisis, Mossialos stresses

Greek government spokesman Ilias Mossialos on Saturday urged European governments to take rapid action in order to reassure markets and protect the EU from the spreading debt crisis, in statements to local Greek radio station "Athina 9.84". "Otherwise, you aren't sending markets a clear message that European governments have created a stability fund that is large enough to do whatever is possible, when there are problems in the countries of the periphery, to support them," he said.
He stressed that the money given would not be a "gift" to the recipient countries but a loan carrying a very good interest rate that would be paid back.
The spokesman pointed out that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou had from the start of the crisis proposed establishing a European credit rating agency and a tax on financial transactions, as well as the issue of a eurobond.
He said that a eurobond would be essentially be all European Union countries borrowing together at the risk for the Eurozone average so that this could then be loaned to the countries with the biggest problem.
Regarding sit-in strikes threatened by public-sector workers - who said they would continue to provide services to the public but abstain from collecting fees for them - Mossialos stressed that this amounted to breach of duty and harmed the public interest.
"I am not saying that strikes must stop. The right of workers to strike is irrevocable. But to stop collecting [fees], to paralyse revenue-raising mechanism and stop the country's progress exceeds all bounds of tolerance," he stressed.

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