Euro zone finance ministers are ready to sign off on a critical 8 billion euro (6.9 billion pound) payment to Greece at their next meeting at the end of November, the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said on Monday.
After meeting newly appointed Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, who reiterated his determination to implement all the budget measures demanded by the EU and IMF, Van Rompuy said the EU stood ready to help.
The Eurogroup should be in a position to agree in its next meeting on the disbursement of the sixth tranche of the Greek loan, he said, referring to the next instalment of a total of 110 billion euros of loans agreed for Athens last year.
Van Rompuy said all Greece's political parties needed to maintain their backing for the steps the government was taking, and called on all EU institutions to do their part, a possible reference to the European Central Bank, although he did not mention it by name.
As regards the broader situation in the Eurozone, it is clear that we are going through a difficult period, he said. All EU institutions need to do all that is in their powers, in full respect of their mandates, to restore confidence, stability, growth and jobs.
(Writing by Luke Baker)