Greek PM to meet eurozone leaders this week
Published: 20th Aug 2012 11:19:53
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is to hold meetings with eurozone leaders this week, which could help determine the fate of his country in the bloc.
In the meetings, Mr Samaras is expected to request for more time on Greece's austerity programme.
That has provoked further frustration in Europe over Greece's ability to honour its commitments.
Its creditors are waiting for a report next month assessing its progress over reforms in exchange for fresh bailouts.
On Wednesday, Mr Samaras is expected to meet Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg premier who heads the group of eurozone finance ministers.
He is then due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on 24 August and French President Francois Hollande on 25 August.
Stuck in recession, Greece is heavily in debt and has implemented more than 43bn euros (£33.8bn) worth of austerity measures since 2010 in order to try to bring down its budget deficit.
The report due next month - which is being conducted by inspectors from what is known as the troika, the EU, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank - will assess Greece's progress on implementing reforms, in particular its spending cuts and efforts to raise revenue by clamping down on tax evasion.
The German weekly Der Spiegel has reported that an initial assessment by the inspectors suggested Greece may need to cover a financing hole of up to 14bn euros over the next two years, rather than the 11.5bn Athens has identified for 2013 and 2014.
Last week, Greece was able to raise 4.06bn euros with an issue of three-month treasury bills, but the government had to offer an interest rate of 4.43% to attract investors.
Mr Samaras' expected plan to request a two-year extension on its austerity programme has provoked frustration among other European politicians with Athens.
"There's a process we're engaged in to evaluate the efforts made by Greece in recent months, which we know was set back by elections," European Affairs Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on France's Europe 1 radio. "We'll evaluate the situation and try to take a common position."
"It's important to let the Greeks express their request clearly, to let the Troika report and then to hold discussions between European countries to find the right position," he added. "We want countries to meet their commitments and we want the European Union to create conditions that will generate growth."
In an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio, Germany's deputy finance minister, Steffen Kampeter, said: "It is important that both sides should keep to what we agreed. We will decide in an orderly, fair and transparent procedure in Europe. The key to this lies not in Berlin, but in Athens."
Alexander Stubb, Finland's minister for European affairs and foreign trade, took a tougher stance, telling reporters: "There will be no third (aid) package if it [Greece] does not make structural reforms,"
Greece's difficulty in honouring its commitments have stirred fresh speculation over its exit from the euro.
On Saturday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said: "I have always said that we can help the Greeks, but we cannot responsibly throw money into a bottomless pit."
Joerg Asmussen, a German member of the ECB's executive board said that a Greek exit would be "manageable", albeit expensive, and would result in higher unemployment.
At 19:39:42 in EnglandThe family of a man who died, despite seven 999 calls for an ambulance, said he was failed in his "moment of need".
At 19:38:42 in SportNetherlands keeper Michel Vorm believes Louis van Gaal would be the ideal choice as Manchester United manager.
At 19:32:11 in EnglandHeathrow Airport is gearing towards the opening of its new Terminal 2 by unveiling Europe's largest privately funded sculpture.
At 19:27:52 in EnglandThe death of a 10-year-old boy who was hit by a car as he crossed the road outside his house was accidental, an inquest has heard.
At 19:13:07 in PoliticsPrivate parking firms paid more than £6m to the DVLA for the names and addresses of drivers in the past year - an increase of 28%, figures suggest.
At 19:12:17 in EnglandPoppies have been planted as part of a social media campaign to mark the First World War in Jersey.
At 19:11:22 in WalesGriff Rhys Jones has withdrawn from becoming Cardiff University's new chancellor just two weeks after an embarrassing debacle which saw his appointment halted at the last minute.
At 19:04:14 in EnglandA theatre company is hoping to have set a new world record by performing an abridged version of Shakespeare's works at more than 37,000ft (11,278m).
At 18:56:33 in WorldThe Iron Curtain fell 25 years ago, but it seems that nobody told the deer.
At 18:54:46 in EnglandA council is expanding the size of graves to accommodate obese people - and could charge extra for larger people to be buried in them.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Greek PM to meet eurozone leaders this week [Online] (Updated 20th Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1447112/Greek-PM-to-meet-eurozone-leaders-this-week [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Portugal's chances of exiting its three-year bailout programme rose after the sale of 10-year government debt fell sharply to a record low 3.57%.
The family of a man who died, despite seven 999 calls for an ambulance, said he was failed in his "moment of need".
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Tesco's internet service has been hit by two separate problems that coincided, leaving some of its customers irate.
Mexican writer and journalist Elena Poniatowska has received the most important award for literature in the Spanish language, the Cervantes prize.
Netherlands keeper Michel Vorm believes Louis van Gaal would be the ideal choice as Manchester United manager.