22 JUN 2011
Two days ahead of the EU summit, the leader of the liberal ALDE group in the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, unveiled yesterday (21 June) a strategy to save the Greek economy - dubbed 'the Hercules plan' - that combines fiscal consolidation measures with incentives for economic growth.
The blueprint was presented to the press in a communications race with Commission President José Manuel Barroso.
Minutes before Verhofstadt's presentation, Barroso announced that Brussels could help to boost the Greek economy by making earlier a payment of one billion euros in EU funds earmarked for Athens under a plan to reduce economic and social differences in the 27-member bloc.
In essence, Verhofstadt considers that current plans to prevent Greece from bankruptcy neglect the fact that private investment in the country is completely hampered by economic circumstances.
Among other things, the leader of the ALDE group, who is also Europe's highest-profile federalist, suggests that part of the 50-billion euro privatisation programme which lenders are thrusting upon Greece should be attributed to a fund for investment.
IMF: More federalist than EU leaders?
Verhofstadt quoted the acting managing director of the IMF, John Lipsky, who said that it was necessary for Europeans to move forward with economic integration.
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