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Greek leaders reach new austerity deal

02-10-2012 07:44 BJT

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Greek political leaders have reached a tentative agreement on new austerity measures demanded by creditors to release 130-billion-euros in bailout money. This is according to a statement from the office of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on Thursday. The deal, however, has already stirred some controversy.

Greece has finally agreed to accept more reforms and austerity measures to secure a second bailout from the EU and the IMF.

Greek Prime Minister Loukas Papademos,center, leader of the Socialist Party PASOK George
Papandreou, right, leader of the conservative Party New Democracy Antonis Samaras, 2nd left and
the leader of the right wing LAOS party George Karadjaferis enter the meeting room at Maximos
mansion in Athens on Wednesday Feb.8, 2012.

Greek political leaders clinched a deal after days of delays, just hours before Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos met his European counterparts, Greece’s financial backers.

Venizelos said: "We have finally a agreement with the Troika for a new, strong and credible program. We have also a deal with the private creditors on the basic parameters of the PSI. We need now the political endorsement of the Eurogroup."

Not everyone in Greece was pleased with the agreement.

The Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras said: "This crime being committed against the Greek people, against the country, cannot be allowed to come to pass. The bankruptcy program will not pass."

Greece’s international lenders have been frustrated by the delays in Athens agreeing to more sacrifices in return for a new 130 billion euro rescue package, says head of the IMF Christine Lagarde.

Lagarde said: "Well there is clearly some very encouraging news coming out of Athens and it’s, you know, after the very heavy duty work that’s been done lately I think it’s positive."

Greece desperately needs the money to avoid defaulting on its debt on March 20 when large repayments are due.

But political analyst Dmitris Katsikas says the euro project was always going to encounter problems.

Katsikas said: "It’s a bit ironic to be discussing now how badly Greece did in terms, in economic terms when from the beginning it was known that euro zone as a whole would not meet the economic theories, if you like, requirements to have a common currency."

Greek party leaders may have agreed to more austerity - but Greek citizens have had enough.

The country has fallen deeper into recession since it received the first bailout deal in May 2010 - and more than one in five people are now out of work.

It’s even worse for young Greeks, half of 15-24 year olds are unemployed.

Labour unions have called a 48 hour strike to protest the newest reforms and are warning that more austerity could spark serious social unrest.

The President of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde (R) speaks with
Greece's Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos (L) before a Eurogroup Council meeting at the EU
headquarters in Brussels.

EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn (L) talks with Greece's Finance Minister Evangelos
Venizelos during a Eurogroup meeting at the European Union council headquarters in Brussels
February 9, 2012.

Greek Prime Minister Loukas Papademos, left, and Socialist Party leader
George Papandreou enter the meeting room at Maximos mantion in Athens on
Wednesday Feb.8, 2012.

European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn, left, talks with Greek
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, at the Eurogroup ministerial meeting at the European
Council building in Brussels, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012.

Belgian Finance Minister Steven Vanackere, left, talks to International Monetary Fund managing
director Christine Lagarde, prior to the start of the Eurogroup ministerial meeting at the
European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble addresses the media prior to the Eurogroup
ministerial meeting at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012.

 

 

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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