Greece pledges fresh austerity as Germany toughens stance

 
City A.M. Reporter
GREECE hopes to obtain its lenders’ approval for a new wave of austerity measures by the middle of next month, a Greek finance official said yesterday.

The news coincided with a separate statement from German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, who warned that his government would not soften its demands for Greece to consolidate its public finances.

Any substantial watering-down of the conditions for Greece’s rescue package would be unacceptable, Westerwelle said after meeting his Greek ministerial counterpart Dimitris Avramopoulos.

Fresh austerity moves worth around €11.5bn (£9bn) are in the pipeline, according to the Greek finance ministry.

A senior official said: “Our aim is to have agreed with our partners by 14 September.”

Winning approval for the savings due in 2013-14 is key to appeasing the troika – the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund – who are expected back in Athens next month to decide whether to continue with the bailout.