New measures will be the last, Samaras says

New measures will be the last, Samaras says

ATHENS - The Associated Presse
New measures will be the last, Samaras says

A shop owner carries used books at the Monastiraki flea market in Athens. EPA photo

Greece’s prime minister has promised that a new round of painful austerity measures planned for the next two years will be the last for the recession-mired country.

Antonis Samaras told a meeting of his conservative party’s officials that without the 11.5 billion euros ($14.4 billion) cutbacks Greece would have to leave the 17-nation eurozone.

Athens is bound to implement the new spending cuts in 2013 and 2014 under its commitments to international creditors who are keeping Greece afloat with rescue loans.

Otherwise, the bailout will stop, forcing the country to default on its mountain of debt.

After weeks of deliberations with junior coalition partners, Samaras’ conservative-led government is close to finalizing how exactly it will make the cuts. The program will be discussed with austerity inspectors due in Athens next week.