European leaders are expected to announce a multibillion-pound rescue of the Greek economy today in a bid to prevent its debt crisis spreading to other eurozone countries.
At a summit of EU leaders in Brussels likely to be dominated by the implications of Greece's budget crisis, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy are expected to indicate that they are ready to come to Athens' rescue. EU rules prevent eurozone members from jointly bailing out Greece, so bilateral help is more likely.
After talks with Sarkozy in Paris on Wednesday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said his government would do whatever it took to cut its deficit.
"We have not asked for help," he said. "We have said that we just want you to support our own will, our country's credibility in implementing this programme."
Greece's deficit currently stands at 12.7 per cent, more than four times higher than the eurozone allows.