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France, Germany lead eurozone on Greek rescue plan

The leaders of the 16 EU nations using the euro agreed late Thursday (March 25th) on a potential aid package for Greece, including a combination of bilateral loans from eurozone states and financial assistance from the IMF.

The deal -- brokered by Germany and France at the start of a two-day EU summit in Brussels -- would take effect if Greece is unable to obtain loans in the financial markets.

"It's an extremely clear political message," said EU President Herman Van Rompuy, who chaired the meeting of eurozone leaders. "It's a mixed mechanism but with Europe playing the dominant role. It will be triggered as a last resort." The aid mechanism needs the support of the other countries in the 27-member Union.

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