Greek leaders agree most cuts to save €1.5bn

City A.M. Reporter
POLITICAL leaders in Greece have agreed on most of the austerity measures demanded by its creditors and are now eyeing pension and wage cuts to find the final €1.5bn of savings still needed, a source close to the talks said yesterday.

Greece must find savings worth €11.5bn for 2013 and 2014 to satisfy its increasingly impatient lenders, who are currently visiting Athens to evaluate the country’s progress in complying with the terms of its latest bailout. A finance ministry source said the lenders, who were due to leave Athens at the end of July, would now stay until the savings plan was nailed down.

“We want to help and we will stay as long as it takes and until the plan is finalised,” IMF mission chief Poul Thomsen has told the Greek finance minister, according to a Greek official.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s government last week drew up a list of measures to achieve those savings, but the three parties in his administration failed to agree on them.

“The political leaders don’t disagree on anything, there are just alternative proposals being discussed to protect those with low pensions or incomes in the public sector,” said the source.