Greek coalition leaders debate new austerity drive
ATHENS - The Associated Press
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. AP photoGreece’s prime minister is conferring with junior coalition partners to finalize new austerity measures that bailout creditors are demanding in exchange for rescue loans.
Antonis Samaras was outlining the proposed cutbacks Wednesday to the heads of the Socialist and Democratic Left parties. Samaras’ conservatives formed a coalition with the two smaller pro-bailout parties in June, after two successive inconclusive national elections.
Following weeks of frantic deliberations, the government said Thursday it had worked out how to save some ?11.5 billion ($14.4 billion) in 2013 and 2014. The cutbacks are expected to include new reductions in pensions and broader civil service pay cuts.
The measures must be approved by international creditors, who have been giving Athens rescue loans for over two years. Otherwise the loans would stop, forcing Greece into bankruptcy.