By Ria Novosti
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that the next installment of rescue loans for Greece, which had already been approved and due to be delivered this month, will not be paid until the country holds a referendum.
The prime minister of debt-burdened Greece, George Papandreou held emergency talks on Wednesday with Sarkozy and other European leaders in French Cannes, where G20 summit due to begin on Thursday.
Sarkozy’s statement was echoed by the chief of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, who said, “I hope that this whole thing can be closed and completed by mid-December – I think it’s important from a cash point of view.”
The French leader also said that, according to Papandreou, Greece plans to hold the referendum on December 4 or 5.
On Tuesday, Papandreou, said he would initiate a referendum on whether to accept the terms of a 130-billion-euro bailout package which involves new austerity measures. The austerity plan, aimed at avoiding a national default that would hammer Europe’s banks and threaten the economies of Italy and Spain, has so far had a hostile reception in Greece.