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France and Germany call for strict measures in Greece

Politicians and media say that drastic restructuring and cuts are necessary to ensure EU support.

Germany and France warned yesterday that they expected stricter austerity measures from Greece in return for the economic rescue package.

This comes amid fears that the bailout, funded by the IMF and the EU, might not be sufficient to protect the euro.

Over the weekend, some politicians and media in Germany - where resistance to the move has always been strong - called for Greece to be expelled from the eurozone. Germany is expected to be the biggest contributor.

Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister, said it was "unavoidable and absolute prerequisite" for Berlin's approval of the aid that Greece drastically restructure its economy.

Christine Lagarde, the French economy minister, said: "We will need stricter control mechanisms to make sure we don't fall into a bottomless pit."

Meanwhile, Greek finance minister George Papaconstantinou said that it was unthinkable that Greece would leave the eurozone, and that the country would not face problems funding its debt.

He was speaking after talks with the IMF head, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who said that swift action was paramount, and that he was optimistic of a speedy result.

Eurzone nations will provide emergency loans of €300bn (£26 bn) in the first year, with a further €10bn coming from the IMF.

Some of the money will be required before 19 May, when Greece faces a debt payment of $11.3bn.