Greece to Europe: We Need More Time

Samaras asks for 'breathing space' ahead of meeting over bailout payment
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2012 7:50 AM CDT
Greece to Europe: We Need More Time
Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras leads a meeting with officials at the Finance Ministry in Athens, Aug. 8, 2012.   (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is begging the EU and the IMF to give Greece a couple more years to find the $14.3 billion in budget cuts it promised to come up with under its bailout deal. Greece was supposed to find those cuts before getting its next $39.3 billion bailout check, but Samaras says the country lost time thanks to its election drama, and that immediate cuts would undermine Greece's economic recovery, the BBC reports.

"Let me be very explicit: We demand no additional money. We stand by our commitments," he told Germany's Bild. "But we have to kick-start growth in order to cut our deficit. All that we want is a little 'breathing space.'" Samaras is to meet with Eurogroup finance ministers today, and French and German leaders later this week to make his case, likely for a two-year extension. But sources say he won't push too hard, because he doesn't want to get on his lenders' bad side. (More Antonis Samaras stories.)

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