Eurozone finance ministers issue Greek austerity demands ahead of debt deal

As reported by Stephen Fidler and Matthew Dalton from The Wall Street Journal, GREECE’S political leaders agreed on an unpopular budget and cuts to wages and pensions that moved Europe to the verge of approving a new bailout to stave off a messy Greek debt default.

But eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels overnight demanded the measures pass the Greek Parliament before they would finally sign off on the deal.
The demands from the finance ministers set the stage for further uncertainty over the long-awaited bailout and debt-restructuring package for Greece. The focus on Sunday will shift to the Greek parliament, where the eurozone is insisting the program be agreed upon.
“In short, no disbursement (of aid) without implementation,” said Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg prime minister who serves as chairman of the ministers’ meeting.
The ministers coupled their demand for parliamentary action with an insistence the political leaders of the coalition sign a written pledge to back the program — in an effort to bind political leaders after elections expected as soon as April — and to identify exactly from where €325 million out of more than €3 billion in promised budget cuts this year will come.

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