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Eurozone Postpones Decision On Greek Bailout Payment


A demonstrator runs away from riot police during a protest in Athens on May 11, 2011
Eurozone finance ministers have postponed a decision on whether to grant Greece the next installment of its 110 billion euro bailout.

After a meeting in Luxembourg, the finance ministers said Athens could get the 12 billion euros by mid-July if the Greek parliament passes key laws on spending cuts and selling off of state assets.

"We know that we need a prompt decision, but the decision will not be here but in Athens," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told journalists. "Greece must fulfill all the necessary preconditions so that the next tranche can be paid out on time. Europe will do its part."

The ministers also announced there will be a second bailout package for Greece with details to be worked out in July.

Although no sum was given, the new plan is to include more officials loans and, for the first time, a contribution by private investors.

On June 19, Prime Minister George Papandreou asked Greeks to support the austerity steps and avoid a "catastrophic" default.

Addressing the Greek parliament, he appealed for the nation to accept deeply unpopular tax hikes, spending cuts and privatization plans.

Papandreou has just reshuffled his cabinet under mounting public unrest, and faces a vote of confidence on June 21.

compiled from agencies