Merkel Advocates Firewall Around Greece

German chancellor says euro region should build ‘barrier’ to stave off default.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said euro-region leaders must erect a firewall around Greece to avert a cascade of market attacks on other European states that would risk breaking up the currency area.

Expanding the powers of the region’s rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, as agreed by European leaders in July is necessary to avoid Greece’s problems from spilling over to other countries, Merkel said late yesterday on ARD television. The fund’s permanent successor, due to take effect in mid-2013, is needed “so we can in fact let a state go insolvent” if it can’t pay its bills.

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