Greece committed to renegotiate EU-IMF austerity plan

The Greek coalition government reiterated Wednesday its commitment to renegotiate the austerity plan agreed with its EU and IMF creditors, spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said.

"Our goal is to renegotiate" the plan, he said after a meeting between Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Socialist PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and the chief of the leftist Dimar party, Fotis Kouvelis, members of the coalition elected on June 17.

The meeting was requested by Venizelos following discussions Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras had Monday and Tuesday with his counterparts and partners at a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels.

Stournaras said Tuesday the partners "had requested Greece to implement (austerity) measures that the country has pledged to take in 2012... of about $3 billion".

Some Greek media, including the Kathimerini daily, said Wednesday that Venizelos had expressed his dissatisfaction with "the strategy pursued by Mr. Stournaras in Brussels" because it had failed to clearly mention a "renegotiation" of the austerity plan.

Responding to the reports, Venizelos said he would not criticize the government but emphasized the importance of "renegotiation".

"We are going to do everything we can to improve the unfavourable terms" of the plan and "ask (creditors) for a longer period of fiscal adjustment," said Venizelos.

He reiterated that due to a more severe recession than expected, the target for these fiscal adjustment should be 2017, not late 2014.

Stournaras in a parliament speech last weekend on general government policy stressed that Greece should start implementing the reforms demanded by the creditors before the renegotiation of the plan.

Source: AFP

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