Greece races for rescue, some fear not enough

Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:41am EDT
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By Lesley Wroughton and Louise Egan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Finance leaders scrambled to secure aid for debt-stricken Greece on Saturday and Canada cautioned that some European countries feared the 45 billion euros ($60 billion) under consideration was not enough.

Talks over Greece dominated annual International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings, a day after Athens bowed to market pressure and asked to tap a rescue package from the European Union and the IMF.

"Some countries think it's not enough," Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters when asked about the amount of aid being negotiated.

"Some of the G20 countries, including some of the European countries," he said when asked which countries were concerned. "There is concern about making sure that the package is enough so that it's a one-time event."

Flaherty said Group of 20 rich and emerging nations agreed that the Greece crisis could be contained, if dealt with quickly, with little risk of a spread across Europe.

Greece's woes dampened optimism over a faster-than-expected economic recovery that otherwise might have been cause for congratulation at G20 and IMF meetings this weekend.

It focused attention instead on poor public finances across the advanced economies, a problem IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn listed among the top two threats to the global recovery.

Strauss-Kahn declined to answer repeated questions from reporters about Greece, saying only that details of the package would be disclosed after negotiations in Athens are completed.   Continued...

<p>Finance Minister of Greece George Papaconstantinou (L) arrives to meet with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (not pictured) at the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Spring Meetings at IMF headquarters in Washington, April 24, 2010. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst</p>