Wednesday, October 22nd9.3°C
23711
23589

Greece reaches long-delayed deal with international lenders on next bailout loans

ATHENS, Greece - Greece concluded seven months of tortuous negotiations with its international debt inspectors Tuesday, reaching a deal that will allow it to access a long-delayed rescue loan installment.

The deal does not require Greece to impose any new austerity policies, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras insisted, as he outlined a series of relief measures for the most needy.

"Today a long period of tribulations has ended, and a new beginning is being made," Samaras said.

Greece has depended on its bailout from other European countries and the International Monetary Fund since mid-2010. Payment of the rescue loans depend on the country meeting criteria in spending cuts, tax increases and reforms. Greece's progress in meeting the targets is reviewed regularly by the debt inspectors, collectively known as the 'troika'.

Greece began this latest round of negotiations in September. Talks had snagged on several issues, including public sector firings and market reforms.

"These were seven very, very difficult months," said Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, adding that the text of the agreement was being written up.

Neither he nor Samaras made any mention of public sector firings, or reports the government was under pressure to allow companies to carry out mass sackings. Nor did they refer to contentious market reforms, including a proposal to allow supermarkets to sell non-prescription medication.

Samaras instead outlined a series of relief measures, including 500 million euros ($695 million) to be distributed to help more than 1 million needy Greeks, including security forces personnel on monthly salaries of less than 1,500 euros.

Other measures were cuts in social security contributions for both employers and employees to encourage hiring. Greece's unemployment stands at 27.5 per cent, the highest level in the European Union.

The prime minister also said 20 million euros would be given to services that care for the homeless, while an additional 1 billion euros ($1.39 billion) would go toward paying off the state's internal debts — for goods and services received from the Greek private sector.

"Of course, the effort continues," Samaras said. "We will become a modern European economy. A new Greece."

The austerity measures Greece has announced over a series of years have led to a backlash from labour unions, who have staged repeated strikes in protest.

Civil servants were to begin a 48-hour nationwide strike on Wednesday, while Greece's largest union has called for a general strike on April 9.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23825


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14312.07-235.64
S&P CDNX808.00-14.28
DJIA16461.32-153.49
Nasdaq4382.847-36.632
S&P 5001927.11-14.17
CDN Dollar0.8883-0.0012
Gold1243.70-1.80
Oil79.76-0.37
Lumber330.40+1.70
Natural Gas3.65-0.009

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.12+0.02
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.15-0.02
Cantex0.055-0.025
Anavex Life Sciences0.198+0.006
Metalex Ventures0.05+0.005
Russel Metals32.53-0.56
Copper Mountain Mining2.10-0.07
Colorado Resources0.145-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.013+0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.405-0.055

 





FEATURED Property
2100718309 3163 Richter Street
2 bedrooms 2 baths
$214,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Keep it rubber side down

This time of year, I always worry about which friends of mine will get caught going off the road in adverse weather conditions. With a little preparation most accidents can be avoided. Having won the...


Big bank predicts rate hike

Photo: Thinkstock.comThe end of record-low rates is nigh, according to one major bank, which has taken a stance and predicted when the Bank of Canada will raise its long-standing overnight rate. &ldq...


Experts share strategies in Kelowna

The third week in October is “Small Business Week”, a week dedicated to supporting local, small businesses. The week was designed to bring awareness to Canadians about the role small busin...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22771