Europe wants Greek parliament to vote on debt deal: source

2nd November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will come under pressure Wednesday from his European partners to have his parliament approve an EU debt rescue deal before a controversial referendum is held on it, a European official said.

"We want assurance that Greece will meet its commitments in order that next installment of international loans already promised to Athens are released," the official said.

Greece needs to the 8.0 billion euros in EU-IMF loans in the next several week to avoid defaulting on its debts.

Papandreou is expected to face tough questions at a working dinner here Wednesday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, EU president Herman Van Rompuy, EU commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, eurozone chief Jean-Claude Juncker and IMF managing director Christine Lagarde.

The meeting, held on the eve of a G20 summit, was called after Papandreou's Monday announcement of the debt rescue referendum shocked European partners and markets.

The referendum threw into doubt the eurozone's plan to resolve the crisis with a major write-off of Greek debts, support for banks to absorb their losses and a major boost in the firepower of the EU rescue fund.

"If the confidence vote passes on Friday" in the Greek parliament, "one could imagine the lawmakers formally adopt the rescue plan before the holding of the referendum," said the EU official who asked not to be named.

Greece's European partners believe the referendum question should "be posed on the larger question of the country's adhesion or not in the eurozone," the official added.

© 2011 AFP

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