A Greek referendum on its latest bailout package will hinder the next installment of aid funds by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union, Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said.
“This hinders the planning of the IMF and the euro zone. It creates a problem for the whole sixth tranche,” De Jager told parliament in The Hague late last night. “I can imagine that it will be very difficult for the IMF if there is uncertainty about the sustainability.”
The Netherlands and euro-zone countries including Germany and France seek to minimize the damage from a “very unfortunate” referendum called by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told parliament.
The new round of political turmoil throws into doubt Greece’s ability to access the emergency funding that’s keeping its finances afloat. The IMF’s executive board was due to meet in mid-November to decide on its part of the sixth tranche, which is worth a total of 8 billion euros ($11 billion).
In Germany, the head of the parliament’s interior-affairs committee, Wolfgang Bosbach, today told ZDF television he “can’t imagine” that the next tranche will be disbursed without assurances that Greece meets its commitments under its aid plan.
France and Germany are “also searching for a way out that minimizes the damage from what has happened in Greece,” Rutte told parliament, adding the Netherlands and other euro-area states are putting pressure on Greece to cancel the referendum.
Papandreou meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy at 9 p.m. in Cannes, France today after leaders expressed surprise at his decision to call a referendum. Papandreou said early today that the vote will confirm Greece’s commitment to the euro.
After two crisis summits in four days, European Union leaders agreed on Oct. 27 to increase the bailout fund to 1 trillion euros, recapitalize banks and convince lenders to write down their holdings of Greek debt by 50 percent.
Lawmakers of opposition parties D66, GreenLeft and Labor, who supported previous euro-zone bailouts, last night said they need more insight into the conditions and consequences of the Oct. 27 agreement before they can pledge support.
Rutte’s ruling bloc of Liberals and Christian Democrats relies on Labor to back its European policy as Geert Wilders’s Freedom Party, which last year agreed to support the minority Cabinet, opposes further financial aid to euro countries.
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