Eurozone to clear next Greek debt funds: Belgium
Eurozone ministers will approve on Sunday the next slice of funding needed to avoid a Greek debt default and set the main outlines of a second rescue for Athens, Belgian Prime Minister Didier Reynders said.
"I am convinced it will be possible to take the decision on the next (Greek) payment," Reynders said on Thursday, referring to a 12-billion-euro ($17.3 billion) payment due under a 110-billion-euro EU-IMF bailout package agreed last year.
Eurozone finance ministers meet on Sunday in Brussels to discuss the payment, which they and the International Monetary Fund had made conditional on Athens adopting another set of stiff austerity measures.
The Greek parliament approved the measures in a first vote on Wednesday and they go to a second vote later on Thursday on the implementing legislation.
"We have a first good answer from Greece," Reynders said.
Sunday's meeting is also due to review a Greek request for a second overall debt bailout package, likely to be of similar size to the first, and the Belgian premier noted that progress was being made on it.
The second bailout has proved even more controversial than the first, especially over German insistence that this time private creditor banks should share some of the pain alongside the taxpayer.
Reynders said there could be agreement on the issue of private sector involvement at Sunday's meeting but a final overall decision would likely come at a July 11 eurozone meeting.
© 2011 AFP