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Greece pushing bid to renegotiate bailout terms

Antonis Samaras is hoping to renegotiate the country’s second bailout…

Image: AP Photo/Petros Karadjias/PA

NEW GREEK PRIME Minister Antonis Samaras began talks with EU-IMF auditors today, in a bid to renegotiate Greece’s second bailout as the country’s international creditors show signs of impatience.

Samaras, who was sidelined for two weeks after eye surgery, heads a three-party coalition which has promised to halt further austerity measures agreed in return for €130 billion in rescue loans.

Crisis-hit Athens is being kept alive by funds from a €130 billion lifeline, but Samaras and his allies want to renegotiate the agreement to avoid further job losses and put more emphasis on growth rather than austerity.

“This is an introductory round of contacts. The negotiation will take place later,” a finance ministry source told AFP.

The Greek economy is in its fifth year of recession and officials warn that it could contract by 6.7 per cent in 2012, much worse than an earlier forecast of 4.5 per cent.

The government is expected to promise creditors that it will redouble privatisation efforts to show that it remains on a recovery path that will enable it to rejoin the world economy.

- (c) AFP, 2012

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