Reluctant Greeks agree €3.3bn cuts to secure bailout

06.02.2012 12:59

Independent: Talks between leaders of Greece's colaition government will resume today after they reached a partial agreement on the
austerity measures needed to secure a €130bn (£108bn) bailout to stave off bankruptcy.

An announcement from Prime Minister Lucas Papademos' office said socialist George Papandreou, Antonis Samaras of conservative New Democracy and Giorgos Karatzaferis of the rightist Popular Orthodox Rally had agreed to cut spending in 2012 by €3.3bn.

But they have yet to agree on the details of the measures and are due to hold meetings with their own parties today to discuss a range of proposals. Debt inspectors representing eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund are pushing for tough austerity measures and private-sector pay cuts before approving a the bailout.

Mr Samaras said that Greece's creditors "are asking for more recession which the country cannot bear". Mr Karatzaferis warned of "a revolution by the new poor that will consume the whole of Europe" if Greeks are pressed too hard.

One of Mr Papandreou's biggest objections is to cutting wages and he wants banks brought under state control. Unions and employers' associations strongly oppose cuts in private-sector wages, warning it would deepen Greece's recession.