Eurozone Gives Greece 2 More Years to Meet Targets
Pedestrians stand in the street near smashed glass after clashes between riot police and angry protesters on the evening of 07 November, in central Athens, Greece, 08 November 2012. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Eurozone ministers decided to give Greece two more years, until 2016, to meet its deficit-reduction targets, but delayed their final say on the latest EUR 31.5 B tranche of bailout funds.
The ministers meeting in Brussels endorsed a proposal to extend from 2014 to 2016 a deadline for Greece to reduce its budget deficit, as demanded by international lenders.
The proposal was contained in a report for the ministers who also said the extension would add EUR 32.6 B to the cost of the bailout.
The ministers will meet again to discuss releasing the latest tranche of bailout funds on 20 November.
Greece can get the money however only following the approval by some national parliaments, including Germany's.
The eurozone ministers meeting in Brussels came days after the Greek parliament narrowly adopted a fresh round of austerity measures and an austerity budget for next year, despite violent protests across the country.
The EUR 13.5 B bill envisages a two-year increase in the retirement age from the current average of 65, as well as salary cuts and labor market reforms, including cuts to holiday benefits, notice periods and severance pay.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has warned before the vote that without the bailout Greece would run out of money this month and face "catastrophe".
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