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Stubb: Greece rescue exceeds Marshall Plan aid

Faced with the financial crisis, EU citizens are now deciding whether it’s time to deepen to economic union or start dismantling it, said Minister for European Affairs Alexander Stubb in an interview with Yle’s morning programme Aamu-TV on Monday.

Alexander Stubb.
Alexander Stubb. Image: Yle

Commenting on the political turmoil in Greece, Stubb said that the country’s fate remains in its own hands. If anti-austerity parties form the government, Europe’s bailout loans will dry out, Stubb said.

“We can’t do anything except monitor the situation,” Stubb summed up.

The minister compared the size of Greek bailouts to the Marshall Plan that provided billions of dollars in aid to Europe from the US in 1948-1951.

“After the Second World War, the whole of Europe received [the equivalent of] 2.5 percent of the entire zone’s GDP in Marshall aid. So far, if we count all the aid which has been given to Greece through loans, guarantees and write-offs, it amounts to 170 percent of its GDP,” Stubb outlined.

He spoke out against harsh criticism aimed at the Greeks and called for a humane approach to their plight, saying that they should not be left to deal with the situation alone.  

According to Stubb, now that the crisis threatens to spread, EU citizens are choosing a side in whether to start demolishing the financial union or strengthening it.

“We are now living in a world where we’re constantly stirring up this hysteria. This happens through politicians, bankers and sometimes through the media,” Stubb said.

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