German Chancellor Angela Merkel says a new rescue package for Greece needs to be put together very quickly and is expressing confidence that Italy will push through an austerity plan.
Merkel said Monday as finance ministers gathered in Brussels: "Greece must get a new program very quickly, in very, very short order."
Officials are debating how to secure a private-sector contribution to a new Greek package and how to prevent the debt crisis spreading to bigger countries _ including Italy.
Merkel says Italy needs to send a "very important signal" by approving an austerity budget and she has "firm confidence" that the Italian government will do so.
She says she discussed the issue by phone Sunday with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi.