Greece received high praise from European finance commissioners as German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes her way to Athens for the first time since 2009. She is committed to keeping Greece in the euro.
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A mandate for commitment to 89 policy steps to reduce Greece’s debt further accompanied the praise and indecision of whether the next installment of bailout funds would come in a lump sum or be doled out little by little.
All 27 European finance ministers are currently meeting in Luxembourg to debate proposals to create a joint banking supervisory body.
Merkel faces tumultuous protests
against the austerity measures imposed as conditions for receiving funds as she prepares to visit Greece and security has been increased significantly in case the protests become violent.
The IMF joined the accolades for Greece, saying the country has clearly made progress. The praise along with Merkel's visit are designed to show support for Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
Meanwhile at the meeting in Luxembourg, Swedish finance minister Anders Borg is the most outspoken of the 10 EU states that are not in the Eurozone. Those states fear they will be marginalized in the effort to create a unified banking oversight system.
Borg said there are still severe problems with the commissioners’ efforts to unify the banking oversight system by January of 2013.
Germany and Finland, two of the 17 countries in the Eurozone, also voiced doubts and warned against repeating the mistakes
made in creating the euro in the effort to accomplish the task by a certain date.
The European Parliament and the European Commission are at odds with the parliament wishing to reduce bankers’ salaries and institute stringent liquidity provisions immediately.
The Commission is against both of these actions.
The European Council, representing all 27 states in the EU, is negotiating with both entities on final legislation that proposes a tax on bonds, shares, and derivatives transactions.