A meeting of eurozone ministers broke up early Monday with a decision to delay delivering any funds of the rescue package for Greece. The ministers have decided to await the result of a contentious vote in Athens' Parliament on Tuesday night, the outcome of which is by no means assured.
Demonstrations by irate citizens and defections from Prime Minister George Papandreou's own party necessitated a rearrangement in the Cabinet over the weekend in an effort to have a successful vote on the austerity measures demanded by the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Reuters reported that the meeting ended without action as Didier Reynders, Belgian finance minister, said, "We are waiting for a decision from the Greek parliament. We are calling for not just the government, but the Greek opposition to support the plan. We are increasing the pressure because there are precedents," he added in a reference to previous missed commitments and falsified statistics from the troubled country. "We have to be sure that everyone is going to support the plan."
Ministers did say that the next tranche would be paid by mid-July, but insisted that Greece would have to demonstrate progress on its austerity plan first. If Greece fails to receive the money, it could default.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was quoted in the report saying, "Greece itself must create the conditions so that the next tranche can be paid out as agreed. That's due in July. It is Greece's responsibility that we're having difficulties now."
(Read Mohammed El-Erian's take on the Greek debt crisis at AdvisorOne.)