Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou called an emergency cabinet meeting Thursday morning after the leaders of France and Germany warned that his country would have to leave the euro zone if voters rejected a bailout plan.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy made the threat Wednesday after more than two hours of meetings with Papandreou and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Cannes, France, as world leaders gathered for an economic summit.
Europe's common currency has been thrown into crisis by Greek debt and the Greek prime minister's surprise announcement earlier this week that his country would hold a referendum on a plan to bail the country out.
Greece's finance minister delivered a surprise of his own Thursday morning, saying the country's future "cannot depend on a referendum." Evangelos Venizelos said the country had to implement the terms of the deal "now, as soon as possible," in a statement that appears to undercut the prime minister's position.
If the Greek people say "No" to the bailout in their referendum, Greece must leave the euro zone, Sarkozy told reporters in this chic resort town on France's southern coast.
Papandreou expressed optimism Wednesday that the Greek people will support his plan to remain in the euro zone despite having to endure the austerity measures that Greece's continued membership in the club would require.
Boudin Chaud. Cous Cous Froide. Allons Tigres--Poussez Poussez Poussez
Assistant State Treasurer
Chief Investment Officer
State of Louisiana
Department of the Treasury
445 North Blvd, 7th Floor
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
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