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Greece Outlines Plan for Bailout Revisions

  • VOA News

Newly appointed Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras arrives for the first cabinet meeting of his government at the parliament in Athens, June 21, 2012.

Newly appointed Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras arrives for the first cabinet meeting of his government at the parliament in Athens, June 21, 2012.

Greece's new coalition government is developing proposed revisions to tough austerity measures that were imposed under an international bailout agreement.

The cash-strapped government issued a statement Saturday that says it would try to repeal some taxes, freeze public sector layoffs and extend deadlines for imposing fiscal reforms by at least two years.

The government announced its plans two days before Greek authorities meet with European and international debt inspectors.

The inspectors will be in Athens on Monday to review Greece's progress in carrying out austerity measures, part of a deal with international lenders.

In its policy statement, the government said it wants to meet its financial goals without making additional cuts to salaries and pensions. The government also said it does not want to impose any new taxes.

Greece has been under intense international pressure to carry out the terms of the bailout agreement which was put in place after the country's debt reached a crisis level in 2009. The crisis set off a chain reaction across Europe.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' New Democracy party won the highest number of seats in this month's parliamentary elections but fell short of the absolute majority needed to govern.

As a result the conservative party negotiated a coalition agreement with the Democratic Left and the socialist PASOK party. Shortly after its formation, the new government said it wanted to renegotiate the terms of the international bailout package.

Greece has a 22-percent unemployment rate and is now in its fifth year of a recession.
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