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March 31, 2023

Greece leaders agree austerity package

The flags of Greece, right, and European Union flutter from the roof of the Finance Minister at Athens’ main Syntagma square, as in the background is seen the ancient Parthenon temple during in Athens on Thursday. Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and his coalition partners have struck a deal on new cuts demanded by creditors to secure a vital euro130 billion bailout.

ATHENS – Greek politicians have reached a deal on austerity measures needed for a new bailout, officials say, according to BBC News. Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has held days of talks with three party leaders from within his coalition cabinet in an attempt to broker an agreement.

Eurozone finance ministers were expected to discuss the provisions when they met in Brussels later yesterday.

Before the deal was announced, unions had already promised a 48-hour strike to protest against austerity plans. Greece is trying to negotiating a EUR 130 bln bailout from the EU and International Monetary Fund. It is the second bailout for Greece, and the lenders have insisted on more austerity measures in return for the loan.

The prime minister held talks for eight hours on Wednesday night with the leaders of the three parties in Greece’s coalition – Pasok, New Democracy and the far-right Laos party. But the talks ended with no agreement on reforms to pensions.

However, government officials later said a compromise had been reached, but gave no further details. European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said Papademos had spoken to him about the deal. “This afternoon we will be having a euro group meeting with the ministers, and we will be having a full report of this, the agreement, and also a discussion of the further steps,” he said.

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