Greece: Still no agreement over £9.5bn austerity package
Mon, 10 Sep 2012
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Greece is still staring bankruptcy in the face as it’s no nearer to finalising the nuts and bolts of the 9-and-a-half billion pound/12 billion euro austerity package it must implement, so it can pay back bailout money. Coalition party leaders met with the Prime Minister in Athens after Friday’s so-called ‘troika’ – where inspectors from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund all reviewed the cost cutting program with Greek Finance Minister, Yannis Stournaras.
While Stournaras playing down the troika’s querying of some points in the package: they’ve demanded more details before it’s signed off). Meanwhile Socialist PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis both say they all need to get around the table again to ensure the Greek people aren’t hurt any further.
Kouvelis said: "The package has not been completed and there is no specific decision. One thing is certain I am requesting that the measures are fair, not imbalanced, that they not further bleed those with lower incomes.”
Venizelos talked to reporters adding similar sentiments: “"We have not finished because the troika has not accepted the whole of the proposals of the economic team and we have made alternative proposals because there are issues over which we cannot yield. Benefits for the disabled cannot be harmed, we cannot make horizontal cuts on the issue of pensions, there has to be fairness and justice, thus there are limits."
The austerity package contains a new round of unpopular wage and pension cuts for the next two years. If a deal isn’t struck with lenders, they won’t give Greece the 31 billion euros already agreed under terms of its 2011 bailout.
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