Greece, EU must act to 'increase stability'

Greece and the EU must act quickly to end turbulence on the markets following the election of an a new anti-austerity government in Athens, senior commissioner Jyrki Katainen said Wednesday.

"We need to start working together very soon because the commitments haven't changed and time is running out," Katainen, vice president of the European Commission for jobs, growth and investment, told a press conference in Brussels.

"There are still the same commitments made by the Greek people towards the other European citizens and we expect them to fulfil everything they promised to fulfil," he said.

Threatening to break commitments made by preceding governments, new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wants to renegotiate Greece's 240 billion euro ($269 billion) EU-IMF bailout and scrap austerity measures.

The shares of Greece's four main banks lost more than a quarter of their value on Wednesday as the Athens stock market took fright after the government led by the radical left Syriza party pushed its demand for debt relief.

"Both the Greek government and ....European institutions, the commission, must behave so that we can increase stability instead of increase uncertainty," Katainen said when asked about the turbulence on financial markets.

"If there are clear indications of uncertainty we have to ... think what can be done in order to stabilise the situation because this is crucial for job creation in Greece," he said.

But Katainen said it was difficult to see a majority in the 19-country eurozone supporting a "haircut," an elimination of the debt.

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker has invited the new Greek authorities to visit Brussels for talks, although no date has been set, Katainen added.