'Actions... count', says Merkel on Greek bailout decision
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Greece on Thursday that it was "actions that count" following reports it could abandon a referendum on a bailout package.
"For us, it's actions that count," Merkel said on statements by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou that he was ready to drop plans to hold a referendum that had enraged eurozone partners.
"What's important is that there is a quick 'Yes' to the October 27 decisions," she added, referring to last week's offer by eurozone leaders to write down Greek debt in exchange for imposing strict fiscal controls.
Merkel said what she and French President Nicolas Sarkozy told Papandreou at crisis talks on Wednesday remained in force. "The sixth (loan) won't be released if Greece doesn't accept" the bailout plan, she said.
Greece needs the next eight-billion-euro slice ($11-billion) of aid by mid-December or faces the possibility of a messy default on its debt.
Papandreou's shock referendum announcement threw into doubt Europe's plan to contain its debt crisis and roiled markets.
The October 27 package provides for writing off some 100 billion euros of Greece's debt. It will also get another 100 billion euros in rescue loans, but have to continue to implement difficult austerity measures.
© 2011 AFP