NEWS

Decision on next tranche to be taken Oct. 13, Schauble says

The decision on whether to release the sixth tranche of bailout loans to Greece will be taken on October 13, Germany’s finance minister has said.

Wolfgang Schauble made the statement on Thursday in the backdrop of a crucial vote at the German Parliament which threatened to expose the cracks in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right coalition as some members are reluctant over throwing more money to bailout Greece and other fragile eurozone members.

Nevertheless, passage of a bill on new powers for the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) in the lower house looked assured, analysts estimated Thursday, thanks to backing from opposition deputies.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Die Zeit, a German weekly, Schauble ? who has in the past appeared skeptical of giving Greece more aid ? said the debt-hit nation should be given more time to sort out its fiscal shortcomings.

?We must give Greece more time, and that will benefit our common currency. If our common currency fails then the damage will be greater, as we benefit [from it] more than the Greeks do,? the German official told the publication.

Speaking to German business leaders in Berlin on Tuesday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou rebuffed criticism of his socialist government’s campaign drive, saying all it needed is some more time.

Greece is ?not looking for applause; simply for respect of the facts,? Papandreou said, adding that the country was pushing through in a short period of time changes that normally require years.