EU's Schulz warns before summit Greek finances are 'dangerous'

Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:38am EDT
 
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BERLIN (Reuters) - European Parliament President Martin Schulz said on Thursday, shortly before EU leaders meet in Brussels, that Greece's financial situation was "dangerous" and it needed two to three billion euros in the short term to avoid bankruptcy.

"Time is short," Schulz told Deutschlandfunk radio just hours before European Union leaders discuss Greece's bailout at their summit. "In the short term, two to three billion (euros) are needed to keep to the existing obligations," he said.

Schulz said Greece had to make further payments by the end of the month, its banks needed money and its central bank's ability to supply funds was almost exhausted.

"So it would be good if Greece fulfils the obligations that it has agreed to - then further money will flow," said Schulz.

"The willingness of the Greek government to cooperate must improve," he said, when asked about reports that Greece was holding back information from its euro zone peers on its progress with reforms.

If Athens runs out of cash by the end of the month and defaults on its debt, policymakers fear it could force itself out of the euro zone.

(Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Stephen Brown)

 
People holding umbrellas make their way next to fluttering Greek national flags on the main Constitution (Syntagma) square during heavy rainfall in Athens March 13, 2015.  REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis