...Playing Sparta and Athens against one another. Trichet had better be careful. A unilateral decision by the ECB will plant some bitter seeds.
March 5 (Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet pressed Greece to halt its flirtation with International Monetary Fund aid and work with European allies to tame its record budget deficit.
As protesters besieged the Greek Finance Ministry to denounce 4.8 billion euros ($6.5 billion) of tax increases and spending cuts, the Athens government said the absence of European support might force it into the hands of the IMF.
Trichet yesterday spoke out against appealing to the Washington-based lender “as a supplier of help,” keeping the pressure on Greece to cut the highest deficit in the euro’s 11- year history -- and on European governments to step in if Greece can’t go it alone.