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Euro zone finance ministers and officials

Oct 3, 2011, 8:22 a.m.

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Euro zone finance ministers and officials were meeting on Monday to discuss the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) bailout fund and the economic situation in Greece.

Following are comments ahead of their talks.

SPANISH ECONOMY MINISTER ELENA SALGADO

"I think it would be useful for the EFSF to have more capacity, not a larger fund per se, more flexibility and more capacity. We will be deciding (the issue of leverage) among ourselves later today."

BELGIAN FINANCE MINISTER DIDIER REYNDERS

ON BANKS:

"The French and Belgian governments are behind their banks, whether that is Dexia or another.

"To help banks and to help, for example French and Belgian savers, the first thing to do is to help Greece."

GREEK FINANCE MINISTER EVANGELOS VENIZELOS

ON BUDGET AND FISCAL CONSOLIDATION:

"(Greece is taking) all the necessary difficult measures in order to fulfill its obligations toward its institutional partners. The new budget, the budget for the new year, is very ambitious, our target is to present for the first time after many years a primary surplus of 3.2 billion euros. This procedure of fiscal and financial consolidation for the last two years is very strong, very fast, but we are now ready to present results."

"Greece is a country with structural difficulties, but Greece is not the scapegoat of the euro zone. Greece is a proud country. We have the possibility and the capability to go ahead, despite a deep recession -- a cumulative recession of 12 percent of our GDP in the last three years."

(Via Brussels newsroom)

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