Arab Today, arab today greece needs 2year extension on fiscal pledges
Last Updated : GMT 18:13:02
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Greece needs 2-year extension on fiscal pledges

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Greece needs 2-year extension on fiscal pledges

Athens - AFP

Greece needs a two-year extension from its international creditors to meet fiscal pledges, and a liquidity boost from the European Central Bank, said Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. In a Washington Post interview appearing in Greece on Saturday, Samaras said the recession-hit country was determined to adopt a new austerity package worth 11.7 billion euros ($15 billion) to avoid leaving the eurozone. But he said the programme should apply over four years instead of the currently agreed timeframe of two years -- his most specific extension request in weeks. \"Instead of the 11.7-billion-euro package taking place over two years, it would be best if it were to take place over four years,\" the prime minister said. \"We are talking about an extension to 2016,\" he said. Samaras had asked for a two-year extension prior to his election in June, but had since made more general requests for \"breathing space\" in meetings with EU leaders over the last month. Eurozone and IMF leaders meeting in Nicosia on Friday also conceded that Greece needed more time to meet agreed targets under its international bailout. \"Clearly timing is an issue worth consideration,\" IMF managing director Christine Lagarde told a news conference. With EU decisions on Greece now expected at an October 18-19 summit, Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said in Nicosia that officials had 10 days to seal the disputed package of cuts pending since June. \"The deal will be closed in 10 days,\" Stournaras told reporters, according to Ta Nea daily. \"(Measures worth) four billion euros have yet to be agreed, but this matter will be settled soon,\" he said, according to the paper. Greece must agree with its so-called \"troika\" of creditors -- the EU, IMF and the European Central  Bank -- to receive the next slice of 31 billion euros from its bailout package. In his interview, Samaras said the money was needed to recapitalise Greek banks and pay more than $6 billion that the state owes to the private sector. And with Greece excluded from borrowing on financial markets, the prime minister said the country needed to get liquidity through the ECB. \"The ECB provides liquidity, either through bonds or through the Emergency Liquidity Assistance programme,\" Samaras said. \"Other countries have access to the markets, whereas Greece does not. Therefore, we have to get liquidity through the ECB,\" he said.

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