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Athens to get two more years to meet deficit target: report

25 october 2012, 14:30
0
The Greek government will get a grace period of an extra two years to rein in its runaway public debt, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported in its Wednesday edition, quoting a draft deal with Greece's international creditors, AFP reports.

Athens will be allowed to cut its deficit to three percent of its gross domestic product in 2016 instead of the previous deadline of 2014, according to an extract of the article released on Tuesday night.

The deadlines given to Greece to implement reforms to its job market and in the energy sector, as well as privatisations will also be relaxed, the newspaper said.

In addition, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras can count on the country's European partners to unlock a new tranche of desperately needed aid funds worth 31.5 billion euros ($40.8 billion), the newspaper said.

Greece, heading for a sixth straight year of recession, has been relying on rescue loans from the troika -- the European Union, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund -- to keep afloat and is negotiating with the so-called troika of auditors representing its international creditors.

The Greek government has been pleading for extra time to implement tough austerity reforms required in exchange for aid loans.

Samaras was locked in talks with coalition allies on Tuesday to finalise an austerity package tied to the next instalment of rescue loans.

Samaras' socialist ally Evangelos Venizelos and moderate leftist Fotis Kouvelis have both expressed misgivings about the scope of the cuts demanded by the country's creditors in return for aid.

Greece recently pledged 7.8 billion euros in cuts next year, only to be told by the troika that an effort of 9.2 billion euros is required to counterbalance the effects of a runaway recession.

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