Euro zone finance ministers are stepping up the pressure on Greece as the debt crisis for the region enters a new and critical phase.
They have told Athens it has to approve stricter austerity measures before a final decision is made on the release of the next tranche of EU/IMF loans.
Meeting in Luxembourg, the ministers indicated the next 12 billion euros in aid would be paid by mid-July, allowing Greece to avoid default, but only if it shows progress on plans to cut spending, raise taxes and privatise more.
Eurogroup president Jean Claude Juncker said: “It is very important that the Greek parliament votes for the necessary legislation in the recommended time so that we can reach good decisions [on providing more financial support].”
Juncker added that Prime Minister George Papandreou had assured him that the Greek government would do everything necessary to pass a new austerity package.
He said the single currency bloc’s finance ministers plan to hold another meeting on July 3 to assess whether or not the Greek government has “fulfilled” its obligations.