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Euro Crisis Discussed in Vienna Meeting

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TEHRAN, Feb 21 (ICANA) – Vice President of the European Commission Viviane Reding has met with Greek and Austrian officials in Vienna to discuss the euro crisis and the future of the EU.
Monday, February 21, 2011 12:14:37 PM
Euro Crisis Discussed in Vienna Meeting

Reding met Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and Austrian Finance Minister Josef Proell as part of efforts to deal with the financial crisis gripping the 16-member euro zone, a Press TV correspondent reported on Sunday. The meeting comes less than a week after the EU finance ministers failed to sort out their differences over a wide package of measures drafted to fight fiscal crisis in the bloc in their previous summit in Brussels. The crisis has cast a harsh shadow of doubt over the long-term survival of the euro zone's single currency, the euro, as the EU braces for another key summit at the end of March to reach an agreement on treaty amendment for euro zone's permanent stability mechanism. "The crisis is also a challenge for Europe … and we need know on the behalf of the European Union to send a very clear message of support of the euro, a convincing message to the international markets and I think the best chance to do so is the forthcoming European council [meeting] on the 24 and 25 of March," Droutsas told Press TV. On Sunday, the trio officials talked about a range of issues, including the European identity, the future of the EU and the permanent euro zone rescue fund, known as the European Stability Mechanism, which will come into effect in early 2013 and will have an initial capacity of 500 billion euros ($ 674 billion). The emergency program is not expected to be enacted immediately, as it needs to be approved by both the head of government and the national parliament of each of the contributing states. But the participants of the debate appeared confident that the approval process will go smoothly. The euro zone plunged into crisis in early 2010 with the threat of insolvency still hanging over for countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain. The financial crisis dealt a devastating blow to the Greek economy, forcing the EU and the International Monetary Fund to pay the debt-laden country a 110-billion-euro bailout in an effort to salvage the economy. Barely six months since Greece was bailed out, another economic meltdown broke out this time in Ireland as the country's banking sector hit the rock-bottom early in November last year.

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