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EU Insists On Greek Pledge In Writing On Debt Deal

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou (center), who has agreed to step down, holds an emergency cabinet meeting at the parliament in Athens on November 8.
The European Union has insisted that Greek political parties sign a letter vowing to back a debt rescue package, after the opposition said it saw no need to make a written pledge.

The demand comes against a backdrop of mounting mistrust since Athens sprung a referendum plan on the public and EU leaders who'd cobbled together support for a massive debt-relief deal.

EU economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn said it was "indeed essential that the new government expresses its unequivocal commitment in writing regarding all decisions taken October 27."

Rehn was speaking at the close of daylong talks of EU finance ministers in Brussels.

Earlier, Greek opposition head Antonis Samaras, who is in talks on forming a unity government, said he backed the EU bailout deal as "inevitable" but saw no need for a written pledge.

Rehn however said Greece's new authorities would also have to meet prior commitments under a 110-billion-euro international rescue before receiving an 8 billion-euro loan installment still due.

Greece's political leaders are continuing crucial talks on building a new, transitional national unity government.

The interim government will be tasked with carrying out reforms needed to secure a 130-billion euro European bailout to prevent a Greek default.

compiled from agency reports