Silvio Berlusconi backs idea of EU aid for Greece

22 March 2010

Italian president Silvio Berlusconi has come out in favour of the European Union (EU) providing financial aid to Greece.

EU member states are divided on the issue of what form of help Greece should receive, if any at all, but Mr Berlusconi said that it was important to support the financially-stricken nation.

Over the weekend, he described himself as "absolutely in favour" of Greece receiving aid and later stated that the EU has "no reason to exist" if it did not help out its members at times of need, reports Reuters.

However, his comments are at odds with those of German chancellor Angela Merkel who stated the Greek government has not asked for a bailout and to provide one would simply bring about "turbulence in the markets".

Earlier this month, the Greek government announced its third austerity package of the year - public sectors workers were given pay cuts, while VAT on goods such as fuel, alcohol and cigarettes was raised.

By Tony Aynsley

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