Greek parties handed EU bailout deadline

February 6, 2012 00:44

ATHENS - Greece's coalition parties must tell the European Union by Monday whether they accept the painful terms of a new bailout deal as EU patience wears thin with political dithering in Athens over implementing reforms.

Technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papademos put on a brave face on Sunday as he tried to get leaders of the three parties in his government to sign off on terms of a 130 billion euro rescue, which Greece needs soon to avoid a chaotic debt default.

Papademos said in a statement the party chiefs - who may face angry voters in parliamentary polls as soon as April - had agreed measures including wage cuts and other reforms as part of spending cuts worth 1.5 percent of gross domestic product.

But a spokesman for the PASOK socialist party said a number of major issues demanded by the "Troika," representing Greece's EU, European Central Bank and IMF lenders, remained unresolved late on Sunday.

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