Greece finalises cuts and gets time on bailout

 
City A.M. Reporter
GREECE has been granted its long-standing plea for additional time to push through austerity cuts that have been finalised after months of negotiations, the finance minister said yesterday.

But Portugal’s government saw the next €1.5bn (£1.2bn) tranche of its bailout approved by the IMF, in stark contrast with the tortuous Greek negotiations.

“Today, we obtained the extension,” Greek minister Yannis Stournaras told parliament, as Athens received a two-year extension to its bailout programme.

He also said the government will tell European counterparts it is ready to put its latest austerity plans to parliament next week.

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

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s allies have yet to back the austerity package, and will examine the concessions made before deciding their stance.

Stournaras said Greece would tell the Euro Working Group meeting today that it had finalised the package after its troika of lenders – the EC, European Central Bank and the IMF – made additional concessions.