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European leaders spar over Greece bailout ahead of EU summit

France, Italy, and Germany are at loggerheads over a possible Greece bailout ahead of what was to be a routine EU summit this Thursday. Greece has threatened to go to the IMF if the EU can't help with the crisis.

Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said that Greece will have no difficulty in borrowing money on financial markets on Tuesday. At the coming EU summit, some nations are head-butting over a possible Greece bailout.

Petros Giannakouris/AP

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The  debt crisis in Greece continues to bring out public, and not always amicable, efforts among European nations to compromise on a Greece bailout plan, ahead of what was to be a routine European Union summit this Thursday – with Germany seeming to hold out on even discussing a crisis that other nations say could harm the euro.

French and Italian leaders are insisting that the Greek debt crisis be discussed – while German Chancellor Angela Merkel insists that Greek leaders have yet to even officially claim that a bailout is needed.

Greek President George Papandreou, meanwhile, is visibly irritated with Ms. Merkel – whose popularity in Germany seems to rise with every “no” to Greek assistance. He is threatening to go to the International Monetary Fund if the EU can’t help with a crisis that he doesn’t want to call a crisis, for fear of further attacks on Greek market positions.

Mr. Papandreou has made it clear he wishes the EU summit to end with a eurozone package or plan for Greek aid in order to quiet markets.


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