by Ray Fleming

Greece may be the home of the Olympics but it is unlikely that many of her citizens had the inclination to spend time yesterday reflecting on the renewal in London of Games that originated in their country in 776 BC.

Instead they had to receive yet another delegation of EU and other officials who visited Athens to tell the government that “words are not enough” to maintain the trust of their European and international partners. The delegation was led by Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, who told the Greek prime minister that he and his colleagues must “deliver, deliver, deliver”. Mr Barroso was accompanied by senior members of the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to reinforce the message that release of the next tranche of bail-out money in September will depend on progress made in structural changes, privatisation and reduction of tax evasion.

There are signs that some members of the euro-zone are finally losing patience with Greece and are ready to say so. Finland and the Netherlands are among them but of greater significance are comments from the German government, for instance by the economics minister Phillip Rosier who said recently that the possibility of Greece defaulting and leaving the zone “has lost its horror”. The phrase carries a warning which neither Greece -- nor Spain - can afford to ignore.

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