Eurozone Ministers to Greece: No Bailout Payment without Spending Cuts

Posted June 21st, 2011 at 7:40 am (UTC-5)
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The government of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou faces a vote of confidence Tuesday.

Mr. Papandreou is appealing to parliament to quickly pass his package of spending cuts and tax hikes to stave off bankruptcy and default on the country’s debt.

Eurozone finance ministers say Greece must institute further severe economic reforms before it can receive the next $17 billion payment loan installment from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Economic analysts say a default by Greece could spark another global financial disaster.

The European finance ministers failed to sign off on the next installment of the 2010 $160 billion bailout package after hours of talks on Monday in Luxembourg.

However, the ministers welcomed what they called “informal voluntary” roll-overs by Greek bond holders — meaning that those who hold Greek debt would hold off demanding payment.

Greece has been roiled by weeks of nearly non-stop protests and strikes at the prospect of further austerity measures.

The leader of Greece’s Conservative opposition, Antonis Samaras, reiterated his rejection of Mr. Papandreou’s proposals Sunday and called for early elections.

Athens also is negotiating a second bailout package to keep its economy afloat beyond September. But EU leaders have been unable to agree on the terms of such a loan, including how much of its should be funded by the private sector.