Arab Today, arab today greek cabinet prepares week of debtcrisis talks
Last Updated : GMT 06:58:51
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Greek cabinet prepares week of debt-crisis talks

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Arab Today, arab today Greek cabinet prepares week of debt-crisis talks

Athens - AFP

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras went into a huddle with his cabinet ministers Saturday to prepare another week of talks with international partners on how best to resolve the country\'s debt crisis. \"We discussed all pending matters regarding prior actions so that we can be ready by Wednesday, when the Eurogroup convenes,\" said Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras after the meeting. On Wednesday eurozone finance ministers -- the Eurogroup -- will hold a conference call on Greece, two days after Monday\'s Euro Working Group where senior eurozone officials examine the heavily endebted country\'s progress in meeting economic targets set to unblock a vital 31.2-billion-euro ($40.4 billion) tranche of aid. At Wednesday\'s Eurogroup meeting Greece will present the \"progress that has been made\", said Stournaras. On Monday the so-called Euro Working Group will also discuss Greece\'s request for a two-year extension to implement the tough austerity measures that are part of its bailout package, making the new deadline 2016. The extension would further increase the huge cost of Greece\'s bailout package by 30 billion euros, according to a European source. \"We want Greece to stay in the eurozone. But Greece has a lot of things to do. That has not yet been decided,\" said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Friday. Greece has been locked in negotiations with the so-called troika of auditors representing its EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank creditors over a 13.5-billion-euro austerity package. Approval of the package is necessary for Greece to receive the next instalment of its multi-billion rescue loans, as the prime minister has said the country\'s money will run out on November 16. Samaras, of the conservative New Democracy party, has been trying to fight dissent within his three-party coalition government in view of the crucial vote on the austerity measures which have caused frictions. Junior government partners, the socialist Pasok and the moderate Democratic Left have expressed their opposition to more labour reforms. Stournaras said Saturday the measures would have to be submitted to parliament to be voted \"within the next few days\". They are likely to be presented \"roughly together\" with the budget, which is expected on Wednesday. According to state broadcaster Net, ministers are expected to submit lists with cuts in their respective ministry budgets by Monday evening.

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