News / Economy

Greek PM: Country Not at 'War' with EU/IMF Lenders Ahead of Visit

FILE - Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras answers journalists' questions as he arrives to attend a European Council meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Oct. 24, 2013
FILE - Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras answers journalists' questions as he arrives to attend a European Council meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Oct. 24, 2013
Reuters
Greece is not at “war” with the European Union and International Monetary Fund, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on the eve of the latest review by the lenders to decide whether to pay the next tranche of bailout loans.
 
Inspectors from the EU, IMF and the European Central Bank, known collectively as the “troika,” resume a visit to Athens on Tuesday to check how far the country has come in meeting its bailout commitments, including privatizations.
 
Doubts had emerged over whether the lenders would return this week as scheduled after differences emerged over how to plug a gap in Greece's 2014 budget, but the two sides settled their differences.
 
“First of all let me say something - let's do away with this notion that we are in some kind of war,” Samaras told Greek TV late on Monday. “It is a negotiation.”
 
The lenders fear that without new measures, Greece will miss a targeted primary budget surplus, excluding debt servicing outlays, next year.
 
They estimate the budget shortfall will reach two billion euros. The Greek government expects, however, it will be much smaller, around 500 million euros, and can be filled with “targeted” measures and structural reforms.
 
Samaras' finance minister, Yannis Stournaras, who is due to meet the troika on Tuesday, told reporters late on Monday that the budget was “realistic.”
 
Samaras' conservative-led coalition government is rejecting across-the-board wage and pension cuts or tax increases, arguing it deserves some slack after delivering the biggest budget deficit reduction recorded in the euro zone.
 
Six years of an austerity-induced recession have sent unemployment to record highs and plummeted living standards.
 
“Society cannot take it, the economy cannot take it, and it is not even required by the country's current financial situation,” Samaras said.
 
He played down speculation that any standoff with the troika over fresh measures could lead to elections.
 
“I don't believe there will be any conflict in this matter,” he said. “These are issues that we are going to resolve.”

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7975
JPY
USD
118.23
GBP
USD
0.6371
CAD
USD
1.1324
INR
USD
61.929

Rates may not be current.