Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou asked for the activation of an EU/IMF aid package on Friday aimed at pulling the euro zone member out of a debt crisis.

It is a national and imperative need to officially ask our partners in the EU for the activation of the support mechanism we jointly created, Papandreou said in statements broadcast live from the remote, tiny Aegean island of Kastellorizo.

Greece is negotiating with European Union and International Monetary Fund officials the terms of a 40-45 billion euro package aimed helping Greece deal with its debt mountain as borrowing costs ballooned.

Papandreou said markets did not give Greece the time it needed to turn its economy around and spiraling lending rates were threatening to negate the effect of painful austerity measures.

We will not allow it, he said, speaking against the backdrop of the picturesque port of Greece's easternmost island. Our partners will decisively contribute to provide Greece the safe harbor that will allow us to rebuild our ship.

Papandreou said the EU would send markets a strong message that it can protect common interests and the common currency.

(Reporting by Dina Kyriakidou, editing by Mike Peacock)