Greece Asks for More Time

Prime Minister Samaras seeks to extend fiscal adjustment program by two years.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras called for “more time” to carry out policy changes to address with Greece’s debt woes as he prepared to receive Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker in Athens.

“All we want is a little more air to breathe to get the economy going and increase government revenue,” Samaras was quoted as saying in an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper published today before the arrival of Juncker, who heads the group of euro area finance ministers. “More time doesn’t necessarily mean more money.”

Greek Contraction

Samaras told Bild his government is making progress carrying out “structural reforms” and selling state assets. Greece stands by its commitments even after the economy contracted by a fifth over the past three years, the standard of living dropped by a third, pensioners lost a fifth of their incomes and half the country’s youth is unemployed, he said.

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