Greek PM Samaras asks for more time to implement cuts

Antonis Samaras, prime minister of Greece, has called for more time for the country to meet its austerity targets.

Meeting Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker in Athens today, Samaras (pictured) asked for “more air to breathe” to complete the implementation of measures designed to put the economy on a growth path and to increase government revenue.

Greece remains at the heart of the eurozone crisis, and according to a number of recent statements by European officials, the possibility of a break-up of the currency union is not off the cards yet.

In order to bid for more flexibility in the country’s deficit reduction efforts, Samaras is also due to travel to Berlin and Paris on August 24 and 25, to meet French and German authorities.

Samaras has to demonstrate that Greece has done enough to receive the next €31.5bn instalment of eurozone loans.

In order to qualify for the loan, Greece needs to present a plan able to achieve €11.5bn spending cuts within two years.

Without those funds, the likelihood of a Greek default, with an ever more likely exit from the euro, would increase dramatically.

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