Tue, March 23, 2010
Business > Economy > Greek debt crisis

EU presidency calls for decision on Greek bailout at summit

2010-03-23 02:15:12 GMT2010-03-23 10:15:12 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Greece's Prime Minister George Papandreou (L) is welcomed by European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek (R) ahead of a meeting in Brussels March 18, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

BRUSSELS, March 22 (Xinhua) -- European Union (EU) leaders should decide on a bailout plan for Greece at a summit later this week, the Spanish presidency of the 27-nation bloc said on Monday.

"The Spanish presidency will work towards that," Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told reporters before a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels.

"It is an important moment for the future of the EU and the euro," he added. "We will make every effort to give this trust, this solidarity."

EU leaders are scheduled to start a two-day meet in Brussels on Thursday, but the Greek bailout issue has divided the 27-nation bloc, putting Germany on a collision course with Brussels.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso urged EU leaders on Friday to agree on a deal "as soon as possible" to help debt-hit Greece. He said the commission was ready to propose an instrument consisting of coordinated bilateral loans from eurozone countries.

But Germany, the EU's heavyweight, is resisting the call for a quick deal on the Greek bailout plan.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday that the issue should not be included in the agenda of the upcoming EU summit because Greece is not asking for a bailout right now.

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