Clinton: Greece Did Not Ask US for Economic Aid
The United States says Greece is not looking for financial assistance, but to work within the G-20 to press for additional regulatory changes in the financial markets.
"Neither the prime minister nor Greece has asked the United States for anything," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said at a press conference on Monday after a meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.
Clinton pointed out that the United States supports Greece's efforts to deal with its financial crisis
"Among our most pressing, shared challenges today is the global economic crisis that has thrown people out of work, shuttered businesses, and drained government coffers in both the United States and Greece. I know these are difficult days in Greece. But I want to commend the prime minister for his leadership in tackling the challenge that he confronted upon taking office," she said.
The Greek government has promised to slash its budget deficit from nearly 13% of gross domestic product, more than four times the EU limit, to less than three percent by 2012.
Papandreou said the Greek government has made very difficult decisions to ensure the economy is viable . . ."to make sure that we have put in place the necessary steps so that we can then restructure our economy, make our economy a green economy, one which is also important for attracting investment, developing our tourist industry, developing our agriculture, our services, but also making our society more just and more transparent and more open."
Papandreou called on the United States and the European Union should crack down on financial market speculators, saying they are pushing the world towards a new global financial crisis.
Prime Minister Papandreou recently met with other European leaders. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has promised that eurozone nations, the 16 countries using the euro as their currency, will not let the Greek economy fail.
The Greek prime minister is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday.
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