French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said the "moment of truth" for Greece will come in March and that the European Union and IMF will be watching closely to make sure Greece fulfills its promises to pay off debts.
Asked whether European finance ministers would firm up details of possible aid to Greece at a meeting Monday, Lagarde said in an interview on French radio RMC, "We will discuss it without doubt." She would not elaborate.
"Greece will need financing in the spring. We have an appointment in March to see whether they have done what they said they would do. It will be a moment of truth," she said.
EU leaders at a summit in Brussels on Thursday offered political support to Greece and said they could come to its aid if necessary, but gave no details of an eventual financial bailout.
Markets have been shaken by fears that Greece could default and the debt woes could spread to other vulnerable economies.
Greece will report back to EU nations in March on progress on its debt-fighting measures, and based on that progress, the EU and the European Central Bank could order tougher action that Greece may find difficult to implement.
The EU is seeking help from International Monetary Fund experts to make that March assessment.
Lagarde said it was "important that we recognize, without seeking IMF financing, that we say there are people whose job it is to go and verify that plans are respected, that measures are taken, and that we will use their expertise in the field to see whether the Greeks are doing what they committed themselves to or not."
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