Bloomberg News

EU’s Barroso Says This Is the ‘Decisive Moment’ for Greece

February 07, 2012

(Adds comments from Kroes starting in second paragraph. See EXT4 for more on the euro-area debt crisis.)

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- European Commission President Jose Barroso said this is the “decisive moment” for Greece and an agreement on a debt swap and second rescue package is close.

“We want Greece to remain in the euro,” Barroso said in Brussels today, after EU Digital Affairs Commissioner Neelie Kroes told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant that there would be “absolutely no man overboard” if a country exited the euro.

“Maybe my wording isn’t entirely felicitous,” Kroes told De Volkskrant. “What is a man overboard? It’s being said that if you allow one country to exit or ask it to exit, then the whole structure collapses. But that just isn’t true.”

When asked about Kroes’s comments, commission spokesman Olivier Bailly said the EU’s position on Greece “has not changed and is very clear: we want Greece to remain in the euro area.”

Bailly said the commission is “fully confident that the euro with survive the storm and come out of the crisis stronger.”

--With assistance from Andrew Clapham in Brussels. Editor: Patrick G. Henry

To contact the reporters on this story: Rebecca Christie in Brussels at; Jurjen van de Pol in Amsterdam at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Hertling at; James Ludden at

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