Vote On Greek Bailout Expected Monday

Posted February 16th, 2012 at 4:45 am (UTC-5)
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Euro zone finance ministers are expected to vote on whether to authorize a second bailout package for Greece as soon as Monday.

Greece Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told reporters late Wednesday that his country had met the last two requirements of the European Union and International Monetary Fund to secure the $172 billion bailout.

Venizelos says the combination of submitting the required written commitment to cut another $470 million in spending, plus parliament’s passage of austerity measures last Sunday should appease critics questioning Greece’s commitment to become solvent.

Euro finance ministers had planned to vote on the bailout package earlier Wednesday, but some members of the 17 countries complained they did not have enough time to review documents submitted by Greece, and no vote was taken.

The chairman of the Euro finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, says he expect ministers will be able to reach a decision on the bailout at Monday’s meeting.

Greece says that without the new $172 billion bailout — its second rescue loan in two years — it will go bankrupt when government bonds come due next month.

The new reforms approved by the parliament include a 22 percent cut in the minimum wage and eliminating 20 percent of government jobs.

Thousands of Greeks, saying they cannot sacrifice any more, marched in Athens and other cities on Sunday.

The Athens protest turned violent with 45 buildings burned. Officials said 100 police and 70 protesters were hospitalized and more than 160 were arrested.