Greek PM cancels US trip as debt crisis deepens

By REUTERS
September 17, 2011 23:51

 
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ATHENS - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou canceled a planned visit to the United States on Saturday to deal with a deepening crisis at home, days before European Union and IMF inspectors were set to decide on further funding for the debt-ridden country.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos rushed to allay fears the canceled trip signaled imminent default, saying such talk was "ridiculous", but the conservative opposition seized the opportunity to demand snap elections, fanning fears Greece lacks the will needed for tough measures ahead.

"The comments and analyses about an imminent default or bankruptcy are not only irresponsible but also ridiculous," Venizelos said in a statement.

Papandreou was in London, en-route to United Nations and International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings, when he decided to turn back after discussing developments with Venizelos, government officials said.

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