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Thursday
Nov032011

Greek PM George Papandreou to Step Down?

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(CANNES, France) -- Amid conflicting reports that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is preparing to resign, the White House stressed Thursday that, regardless of what happens in Greece, the Eurozone debt deal must be implemented swiftly.

“The steps that need to be taken are clear, again, irrespective of the political personality or situation at any given moment,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters in Cannes when asked about reports that Papandreou is going to step down. “What needs to be done as it relates to Greece, what needs to be done as it relates to stabilizing the Eurozone, was outlined last week and those steps are going to need to be taken going forward, irrespective of, again, where we are at any given moment in a country’s politics.”

While the Eurozone plan currently lacks specificity, White House aides said the situation in Greece highlights the need for a “firewall” to prevent one country’s troubles from spreading elsewhere in Europe.

“The situation there underscores the need to move rapidly...including having a firewall that is sufficiently robust and effective in assuring that a crisis does not spread from one country to another,” Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs Mike Froman said. “That has been a consistent message that the President and Secretary Geithner have shared with their counterparts in Europe.”

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