EU bailout must be ratified by year-end – Channel NewsAsia

Greece must ratify an EU bailout package designed to haul the near-bankrupt country out of its debt crisis by the end of the year, a Greek government spokesman said on Saturday.

“According to the non-negotiable timetable… of the European Summit (where the plan was agreed), the new agreement needs to be ratified in parliament by the end of 2011,” Ilias Mossialos said in a statement.

“Our European partners will not wait. We have only seven weeks and we cannot lose a single day,” he added, ratcheting up the pressure on Greece’s top politicians to find common ground in order to form a unity government.

Earlier Saturday, Greece’s president said he would hold talks with politicians in a bid to break the stalemate as Prime Minister George Papandreou seeks to forge a consensus administration.

Papandreou has said that a national unity government must be formed to implement the terms of the bailout plan, clinched last month in Brussels after marathon talks.

But the main opposition party has resisted the offer, calling for Papandreou to resign and for “immediate” elections.

Papandreou has indicated he is prepared to step aside but said the prospect of early elections would be a “catastrophe.”

– AFP/wk

via EU bailout must be ratified by year-end – Channel NewsAsia.

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