Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's decision to hold a referendum on a crucial bailout is under scrutiny in Cannes, where the G20 summit is about to begin. While some protesters support the decison, countries such as France hope for a full implementation of the bailout package agreed last week, for fears to a potential default.
As the G20 summit approached, these protesters were calling on global leaders to follow their lead in 'taking a plunge'- and making risky, but right decisions.One demonstrator called on European leaders to support Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s decision to hold a shock referendum on a crucial bailout package.
Demonstrator Soren Ambrose said, "We suspect that if the Greek president is coming to meet with Merkel and Sarkozy that there is a good chance they will try and pressure him to make some concessions such as to cancel the referendum. So I hope that he is able to say that democratic control in Greece cannot be controlled by people outside of Greece, that they will be able to have a referendum."
But France is determined to see the bailout package agreed by euro zone leaders last week fully implemented, as fears of a potential default grow.French Prime Minister Francois Fillon told parliament Greece must decide quickly, whether it wants to remain in the euro zone or not.
A day after French bank shares slumped on fears of a default, he also made assurances about the health of the nation’s banks.
He said, "The representatives of the banks confirmed to me that they would not need state capital funds for this and they confirmed to me their objective to go beyond and anticipate incoming capital rules under Basel 3 from 2013 so well in advance of the timeframe of this plan. The reinforcement of the banks’ own funds should be their absolute priority. Given the current context, they should show the utmost restraint in paying out dividends to shareholders and in their bonuses policy."
Shares in Societe Generale and Credit Agricole fell after the referendum announcement by 16 and 12 per cent respectively - both banks are among the most exposed to Greek debt.