A top EU official said on Thursday that Greece is making progress but is not out of the woods yet and this year will be decisive as to whether Athens can stay in the euro.
“Progress is being made and there is a good chance that the euro zone crisis can be overcome,” Matthias Mors, head of a team of experts from the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, told the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an interview. “But Greece is not out of the woods yet.”
Meanwhile, France wants the euro zone’s debt rescue fund raised to around €1 trillion ($1.3 trillion), finance minister Francois Baroin said on Thursday, a day before ministers meet to find a compromise.
“That is the position I will defend in the name of France,: Baroin said on BFM Business radio, although German chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken only of a possible increase to €700 billion.
After months of fraught negotiations and international pressure, euro zone ministers will gather in Copenhagen on Friday for a two-day meeting to find an agreement on increasing the bloc’s debt rescue fund.
Amid renewed worries about Spain ability to rein in its deficit, they aim to create a firewall big enough to keep speculators at bay following bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal.