[QODLink]
Europe
Greece 'wins' vital bailout extensions
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras finalises agreement with foreign lenders which will give a two-year extension.
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2012 13:09
There has been a series of 24 hour strikes in Greece over the past year as opposition to austerity measures[Reuters]

Greece has secured a long-sought extension to catch up with its fiscal targets, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras has told the parliament.

"We have obtained the extension," Stournaras said on Wednesday, shortly after telling reporters that he had finalised with EU-IMF creditors a new austerity agreement that would be submitted to the Greek coalition government for approval.

Stournaras said the government would tell European counterparts that it is ready to put its latest austerity package to parliament next week after winning additional concessions from foreign lenders.

The government has recently been locked in negotiations with international creditors over $17.56bn package of new austerity measures for the next two years.

One of the conditions of Greece's current $185bn bailout programme is that it reforms the economy so the country can return to the bond markets to raise money by 2014.

Greece has asked for a two-year extension on this deadline so that it has time to introduce austerity measures and labour market reforms.

Follow our comprehensive Euro Crisis spotlight coverage

A swift deal on the package is crucial for Greece's effort to unlock more aid under its latest bailout, with the country just three weeks away from running out of cash.

Smaller party allies of the coalition of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's government, the small Democratic Left party and the PASOK Socialists, have yet to back the austerity package, and will examine the concessions made before deciding their stance.

Both parties have refused to support demands by foreign lenders to cut wages and reduce severance payments, but have
maintained that they do not want to jeopardise the government or Greece's place in the eurozone.

Stournaras said Greece would tell the Euro Working Group meeting on Thursday that it had finalised the package after its 'troika' of lenders - the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and IMF made additional concessions.

The package will be put to parliament next week in two separate bills on austerity cuts and labour reforms.

339

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.