Greece given 10 days to act on broken promises
LUXEMBOURG (AFP) - Greece must deliver on scores of broken promises by next week's European Union (EU) summit if it wants long-delayed loans, its creditors said as they eased the release of money for Portugal and launched a new "bazooka." "Acting means acting," International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said after talks with euro zone finance ministers due to broaden out to include EU partners on Tuesday.
As German Chancellor Angela Merkel readied to brave Athens later the same day - sealed off with thousands of police on high alert - the ministerial focus switched away again from Spain despite the IMF announcing an inspection trip to monitor "financial sector reforms."
Months of uncertainty about a bailout request from Madrid had looked until recently like dominating the summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Oct 18 to Oct 19, but as so often over the past two-and-a-half years, the bloc has set its stall out to try and make a breakthrough on Greece.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg Prime Minister who chairs the Eurogroup, said a desperately-needed next loans payout, worth 31.5 billion euros (S$50.2 billion), could only go through if Athens "demonstrates" it can "implement" 89 planned reforms such as privatisations "by 18 October at the latest."