Greece's Papandreou optimistic before meeting on bail-out
Greek Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou expressed strong optimism Sunday for his country's chances of getting an economic bail-out from other eurozone countries, hours before finance ministers were to meet to discuss the issue.
"The gun will be loaded now," he told Greek newspaper To Vima in an interview published Sunday morning, comparing the planned bail-out to a weapon that can be brandished to shore up the country's troubled economy, dpa reported.
Eurozone finance ministers are set to video conference at 2 pm (1200 GMT) to seek political support for the proposed bail-out plan.
The Greek economy has slid into turmoil in recent weeks as it became clear that its deficit and debt levels had been understated by the previous government. As a result, investors have become unwilling to lend to Greece and the government has had to embark on an unpopular austerity plan, slashing government jobs and benefits.
Greece has yet to formally request the bail-out from other eurozone members.
Eurozone states have promised to bail Greece out if it can no longer borrow on the money markets, but the European Commission would have to endorse any request for aid from Athens, making the Brussels- based executive key to any rescue.