ATHENS, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Greece's three-party coalition government leaders reached a "basic agreement" on the new austerity package for 2013-2014 as part of efforts to resolve the Greek debt crisis, Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said here on Thursday.
"There has been a basic agreement on the measures. Now we will seek an agreement with our creditors," he told media upon leaving Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' office after a meeting of coalition partners.
Stournaras added that the three leaders agreed to seek an extension of the fiscal adjustment program to 2016 in negotiations with EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) lenders who back the debt-ridden country with multi-billion-euro loans to avoid a financial meltdown in the eurozone.
In separate statements to the press, Democratic Left chief Fotis Kouvelis and socialist PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos said that they agreed on the main issues, but there are still some minor aspects unresolved which should be cleared in coming days.
It has not been clarified yet when the package will be announced and be tabled in the Greek parliament for ratification.
Stournaras said on Monday the proposed spending cuts are due to be presented to a delegation of EU/IMF auditors in Athens and Greece aims to have finalized all issues until the EU summit on Oct. 18 to secure the release of the next installment of international loans.
Greeks protest austerity drive in mass rallies during 24-hour general strike
ATHENS, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Greece was hit by a new 24-hour nationwide general strike on Wednesday. The major anti-austerity mobilization came as further spending cuts aimed at tackling the debt crisis is expected to be finalized this week.
Thousands of Greeks suffering from cuts on salaries and pensions under the stability and reform program introduced two years ago took to the streets of Athens and other major cities across the country. Full story
Greece could seek extension of ECB debt to bridge financing gap
ATHENS, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Greece could seek an extension of its debt to European Central Bank (ECB) amongst other options, to bridge any financing gaps in coming years, if the austerity and reform drive underway will not meet all goals within current time tables, the Greek Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.
"The possibility of a rollover could be examined to cover the budget gap given that ECB holds some 28 billion euros in Greek bonds maturing in 2013-2016," Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras noted in a written statement released by his office, responding to a question raised by a Greek deputy. Full story