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Greece needs no EU help, Merkel says

Associated Press / March 22, 2010

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BERLIN — Rebuffing European Union officials, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said yesterday that Greece does not need financial help and that EU leaders should not make aid an issue at their summit in Brussels this week.

The European Commission had urged Germany and other eurozone governments to put up a package of government-to-government loans to ease Greece’s financial plight and end weeks of financial turmoil and speculation.

The chancellor warned against discussions of possible EU bailout plans, saying it would only cause turbulence in the markets by raising false expectations. “Aid is not on the agenda on Thursday,’’ Merkel told Deutschlandfunk radio, adding that Prime Minister George Papandreou of Greece assured her his country would not ask for EU support.

On Friday, Jose Manuel Barroso, the EC’s president, said aid was necessary.