Greek PM Seeks More Time to Make Reforms, Cuts

Posted August 24th, 2012 at 12:05 am (UTC-5)
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Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is expected to ask for more time to make key reforms and spending cuts to keep his recession-plagued country in the eurozone when he meets Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

Mr. Samaras told the German newspaper Bild earlier this week that Greece is not seeking more money from its international creditors. He said Greece only wants a little more time to make spending cuts and reforms that would revive its economy and boost income.

However, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told German radio this week that more time would mean more money.

Mr. Samaras will take his diplomatic bid to Paris on Saturday for a meeting with French President Francois Hollande.

Greece's creditors have demanded it impose significant austerity measures to cut its deficit in exchange for $295 billion in bailouts.

Greek leaders must still agree on $14 billion in cuts to secure the release of a new portion of the aid in September and avoid a default on its loans.

The country's economy has been in recession for five years, and the unemployment rate is more than 23 percent.