Prime Minister George Papandreou kept alive the possibility of requesting Monetary Fund aid as German Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned against “hasty” decisions on European Union assistance for the country. As long as “Greece is still borrowing at an unreasonably high interest rate, over 6 percent,” the country will keep “all options open” while preferring an EU solution, Papandreou said at a press conference in Brussels with EC President Jose Barroso. European finance ministers this week approved a framework for emergency aid to Greece, while leaving the final go-ahead to government leaders who meet next on March 25-26 in Brussels. Papandreou has called on the EU to spell out how the mechanism would work to help Greece fend off the investors who have been dumping the country’s bonds and driving up its borrowing costs. Germany may also favor an IMF role rather than committing taxpayer money to Greece, an option that has been dismissed by ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. (Bloomberg)

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