Wednesday, 09 May 2012 18:20
BRUSSELS: Greece will receive a 5.2-billion-euro tranche of bailout loans as anticipated on Thursday, despite rising uncertainty over the country's political future, the European Commission said.
"The payout will take place because it has already been approved," Amadeu Altafaj, spokesman for European Union economy commissioner Olli Rehn, told AFP by telephone on Wednesday.
Athens was also warned by Luxembourg on future loans as Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said that money would not be forthcoming unless Greece installed a stable government.
"We have to say to the Greek people right now that the situation is serious, that no European Union country will be able to release even a portion of the 130 billion euros for the Greeks, if there is no functioning government that respects the rules and manages the disbursed money," he said in Brussels.
A spokesman for another eurozone country said: "It's clear people are very worried about what is happening in Athens."
Eurozone finance ministers are due to meet on Monday in Brussels.
The leader of the Greek radical left-wing Syriza party charged with forming a government, Alexis Tsipras, planned to write Wednesday to the highly indebted nation's overseas lenders that Athens would renege on its austerity commitments.
In Athens, Gikas Hardouvelis, economic advisor to outgoing Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, warned that Greece's future was up in the air after voters in Sunday elections deserted the mainstream parties which have endorsed tough EU and International Monetary Fund bailout conditions.
"If we say no to everything, we leave the eurozone," Hardouvelis said.
Greece is due to repay on May 15 around 450 million euros of bonds that holders refused to write down under a restructuring of private debt.
Athens is also scheduled to return some 3.3 billion euros to the European Central Bank by May 18.
Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012