Several eurozone countries no longer want Greece

AFP , Wednesday 15 Feb 2012

Greek Finance Minister, Evangelos Venizelos says several eurozone countries no longer want the ailing southern European economy in their single currency

Several eurozone countries no longer want Greece in the single currency, Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Wednesday after the Eurogroup delayed a decision on a key Greek bailout.

"We have to tell the Greek people the truth," Venizelos said. "There are several (eurozone countries) who no longer want us. And we must convince them" that Greece can remain in the eurozone, he said.

"The country is on a knife's edge," he said as he arrived at the presidency in Athens.

He warned against those who "play with fire, both abroad and inside (the country), some with torches, others with matches."

"In any case, the danger is great.

"At play for our generation are either sacrifices and cutbacks, or national catastrophe that can carry away our society, our institutions and democracy."

Eurozone ministers late Tuesday called off a meeting on a rescue to avert imminent default for Greece, complaining that Athens still had not fulfilled two vital conditions, with time running out for a debt restructuring.

Greece desperately needs the 230-billion-euro rescue package –130 billion euros in fresh loans and a 100-billion-euro write down on privately-held bonds—to avoid defaulting on 14.5 billion euros in debt owed on 20 March.

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